Planner is Techs development framework, it came into life by urgent need to manage development and releasing cycle of multiple IT projects effectively. It is the only available framework that can provide conceptual integrity into Your organization.
It may be that You haven’t heard yet about the Conceptual Integrity term as this was coined by us at Techs. We use it to describe a link between the most fundamental blocks when it goes about IT projects development: Business Requirements, Functional Requirements, Technical Tasks.
Business Requirements: Depending on the stage in which Your IT project is, business requirements may come from the founders or stakeholders if this is initial or MVP phase or if You have already successfully launched Your project it may come from end users.
Planner: According to the Planner framework, all business requirements must come from people who understand perfectly the foundation of the project, at the latter stage founders are supported by end users who need their product.
As we all know, nature abhors a vacuum, if business requirements will be delivered in wrong format or will leave too much space for interpretation, somebody maybe a developer in Your team will be forced or accept naturally a position of a product owner, this comes with responsibility, maybe this person is well suited to take this position ?
Functional Requirements: Are a result of transforming business requirements into functional requirements, conceptually the idea may be good, but it must be shaped so it can find a place in Your project realm.
Technical Tasks: It is the last step which results in deliverables that can be later tested by Your team and end users.
This process is really simple and already at this point You can ask Yourself if all of Your project business requirements are going through those 3 main phases ? If not, there can be many things that can go wrong and will go wrong for sure, it is only a matter of time when we will see results.
Have You ever expected delivering a product that results in unmet expectations ?
Planner: When constructing Planner framework we discovered that lack of Software Specification is the core problem together with lack of transparency. At Techs at some point it happened naturally that we invited our clients to openly participate in the development process, meeting a client's expectations was always our rule number one.
The magnitude of benefits that come from working in very close relationships with Your clients is enormous, let me give You few examples.
Your developers will start to be more professional. We observed that when things are transparent people are more committed to their work as they know that laziness or badly written code will be rejected and will cause problems for the whole team. It teaches the team a responsibility, and increases the level of ownership.
The worst thing in the world that You can suffer from is having a person in the team that is not able to move on its own. When software specification is present, Your team knows where to look for information. Your team can make independent decisions and the level of conceptual integrity will be always high because they will know top level functional requirements.
And do You know what happens when developers don't have clear functional requirements ? They will not deliver anything or add their personal interpretation to delivery, it is hard to say which is worse.
Of course, You can tell that with good project management and monitoring of sprints those problems will be avoided, that’s true, but don’t You want to make Your team more independent ? Don’t You want that developers to some degree participate in all aspects of the development process ?
For me the worst thing that can happen to a developer is to cut him from the external world and to make whole communication with clients through project managers or other proxies. If You have in Your team a developer that moved to a higher project manager or solutions architect position You know the value of that person, but those people will start to appear in Your organization only if you allow them to struggle and be challenged by talking with clients and solving Your clients problems with their own skills.
How to solve this problem ?
Planner: Each technical task must have a goal, goal must be defined by the technical person, our developer, if Software Specification is in use in Your project, it will contain definition of all entities and terms used in Your project, this will result in higher conceptual integrity. If developers are starting using a terminology from specification this is extreme improvement. It means that they are moving and trying to solve problems within Your project problem domain.
Don’t be afraid of technical aspects of Your project and don’t make excuses for Yourself like this is the technical side of the project. I don't need to be involved, that’s very wrong. If You cannot review tasks that Your team is working on, You must ask Yourself why this is happening ? What measures I need to introduce to our development framework to change it ? Change is the only constant in life.