Reading List: Requirements / Business Rules / BDD

Agile / BDD Requirements
Requirements Storytelling / Storymapping
Requirements and Business Rules
Cucumber / Gherkin

Agile / BDD Requirements

Requirements Storytelling / Storymapping

  • Storytelling for Agile (interview with Oana Juncu) – “Effective change agents are great storytellers of great inspirational stories”; “Stories bring value to people because they are such a great engagement agent”; “The base of a good story is a good answer to these questions: What is the story about? Who’s story is this? What is the hero’s quest? What is her Status Quo? Then build a narrative arch with answers to these questions”
  • Oana Junco: Tell Stories To Escape The Curse of Knowledge – 6 points to tell a (good) story: 1) set the stage; 2) be concrete; 3) unveil the quest; 4) Tell what is the breaking-out event; 5) keep the groove; 6) set a clear outcome; book “Made to Stick” says good story to stick in people’s minds and ignite change should be: simple; unexpected; credible; concrete; emotional
  • Jeff Patton: User Story Mapping – blog post, article, quick reference guides, slides
  • Oana Junco: Leanovation Agile – blog

Requirements and Business Rules

  • Bill Wake: INVEST in Good Stories, and SMART Tasks – INVEST: I – Independent; N – Negotiable; V – Valuable; E – Estimable; S – Small; T – Testable
  • Ronald Ross: The Kick-Off Word in Great Business Definitions: Guidelines for Building World-Class Business Glossaries – the definition of a term should start with a noun; the kick-off word of a definition should not be the term being defined; a definition should not be simply a synonym of the term defined; the kick-off word of a definition and the concept being defined should align
  • Ronald Ross: The New Knowledge Paradigm: Challenges for Operational Excellence – “What IT mostly implements under today’s software platforms are not true business rules; rather, they are encoded representations of business rules.  If IT intervention is required to ‘read’ the stuff, you’re not looking at true business rules”; “True business rules are written in structured natural language (e.g., RuleSpeak®) using standard business vocabulary.  They are about communicating knowledge, not requirements for software implementation.  True business rules are about running the business, not its systems”; “business agility:  being able to deploy change in business policies and business rules into day-to-day business activity as fast as business people and business analysts can determine the full business impact of the change and assess whether the change makes good business sense”; “Business agility results when the IT aspect of change in business policies and business rules disappears into the plumbing.  All artificial (IT-based) production-freeze dates for deployment disappear and the software release cycle becomes irrelevant.  The only constraint is how long it takes business people and business analysts to think through the change as thoroughly as they feel they need to”; “How system development needs to trace requirements into system designs is a very different proposition than the traceability needed for business obligations.  The two kinds of traceability can and should be separated.  Requirements are about building systems, whereas business rules are about running the business.  Requirements generally fade into the background when a system is delivered, whereas deployment sparks a whole new phase of life for business rules.”; “practicable rule:  an expression of a business rule that a capable (authorized) worker can read and understand and decide directly whether or not the business is in compliance in all circumstances to which the rule applies”; “those practicable rules that can be automated (by no means all of them) are interpreted into specifications that automated platforms can execute”
  • Angela Wick: User Stories: You Don’t Have To Be Agile To Use Them! – “User stories become a valuable elicitation and analysis technique for all project teams, but the timing, documentation and level of detail can be adjusted to fit in a traditional, agile or hybrid model”; “Also, remember that user stories are not meant to be comprehensive—they will not lead us to every detail or task required to deliver a work product. Regardless of your project approach, you will need to supplement user stories with additional BA techniques that elicit detailed requirements, acceptance criteria or more dialog”
  • Ronald Ross: Strategic Business Analysis – strategy and structure leading to the Policy Charter deliverable
  • Ronald Ross: Know These 5 Basic Principles for Business Rules? – 1. No business rule is ever set in stone; 2. A business rule must make global sense across the entire scope; 3. There are no business rules until you say there are; 4. Business rules are not choices made in designing systems; 5. A business rule means exactly what the words you use to express it mean – nothing more and nothing less
  • Ronald Ross: What is a Concept Model? – an analysis model that develops the meaning of core concepts for a problem domain; a semantic blueprint for the operational business concepts basic to business know-how; is expressed by a structured business vocabulary; its central business purpose is to support business communication
  • Ronald Ross: What’s a True Business Rule? Not What You Probably Think – Some people think of business rules as loosely formed, very general requirements. Wrong. Business rules have definite form, and are very specific; kinds: definitional rule, behavioral rule
  • Ronald Ross: The New Knowledge Paradigm: Enabling Operational Excellence – give your rules a good life; what are true business rules; “Business rules must be written in declarative form using structured natural language”
  • Ronald Ross: Change Deployment Hell – treat business rules as a first-class citizen; Requirements evolve before deployment of a system; business rules continue to evolve after deployment of a system
  • Ronald Ross: Requirements are Rules: True or False? – 1. Business people don’t naturally think of a ‘requirement’ as a ‘rule’; 2. Many ‘requirements’ never become rules
  • Lucas van Biert: Rules vs Decisions or Decisions & Rules? – good article on the distinction between these and how decision tables are really based on business rules
  • Silvie Spreeuwenberg: Top 10 columns from Testable Requirements, Patterns and Capture, Authoring
  • Silvie Spreeuwenberg: How to design for the unknown? – “There are simple ways to design systems for change and they have been around for ages”
  • Silvie Spreeuwenberg: Rules in Shopify – improved overview; richer semantics; other rules
  • Silvie Spreeuwenberg: Business Rules in Scrum Projects – user stories should be limited in detail by ‘what can be hand-written on a small paper note-card’; a better way is to take a breadth-first slice in the hierarchical knowledge structure
  • Silvie Spreeuwenberg: The business rules virus – BRV – rules alone are not enough, predefined process has its place, can be thought of as a recipe describing what to do first, how and when to gather info, how to interact with env.
  • Freddie McMahon: Knowledge Management: Why Microsoft Word is a poor medium for Procedures (Part 1) – geometric progression / series is a poor fit for being captured in ms-word
  • Sylvie Dan: Eliciting Requirements for Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Systems – DMN (Decision Modeling Notation); DRD (Decision Requirements Diagram)
  • 7 Reasons why the Algorithmic Business will Change Society – the oil for the IoT
  • Tom Gilb: Planguage for Requirements
  • Twitter: #businessrules
  • Twitter: #BizArch

Cucumber / Gherkin



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