Week 17 Part 1: What is it about plans?

Dear STA Procrastinators,

Oh dear, I don’t know if it’s me, or if it’s us, but we just don’t seem to be able to stick to a plan.  The intention had been to run through our allotment purpose tree diagram and take the “requirements” listed on it and run them through the Holistic Requirements Model.  The expectation being that we will have omitted requirements, miss-named functions, i.e. not used verb-nouns, and won’t have defined all of the performance and implementation requirements.  Perhaps we’ve been procrastinating in not doing that job, we were supposed to do it last week after all, but the conversations we’ve had instead have, nonetheless been rich and worthwhile.

So, to get to the point, we didn’t have the allotment requirements discussion yesterday.  There were only a few of us able to get to the session, including a new group member, Mike, who asked a few pertinent questions, which led me to give a bit of an overview of the topics we’ve covered so far.  He also pulled me up on something that I’d said to him quite some time ago along the lines of “increasing quality will reduce costs”.  As we have been discussing “requirements”, it seemed a good opportunity to explore this a bit further and in particular the relationship between requirements, quality and cost.  There is quite a bit to say about this and we had a very good conversation, so I think I’ll write it up in a separate post.  For now, I just want to get this post out in time for your Saturday morning newsletter, so you can at least see the homework for this week and start thinking about next week’s session.

With a bit of help from our friend Julian Johnson

Next week’s session is to get on with the exercise of correctly terming and categorising our allotment requirements.  They are set out on the tree diagram.  A kind man called Julian Johnson has been posting some very helpful comments below our blog posts from the past weeks giving us some guidance on how to correctly handle requirements.  See his comments below the blog posts here, and here.

He has also suggested we read this paper by Stuart Burge on writing and categorising requirements.  It’s very good and gives straightforward and clear guidance on how we can better develop our allotment requirements.  In a way, it’s no bad thing we didn’t attempt the exercise this week and will read this paper before doing it.


Julian’s Functional Requirements

Well, they’re the allotment’s actually, but Julian has provided them for us.  He has put together from our tree diagram.  I suppose it’s a bit of a cheat to give these to you in advance of the session on Thursday, but i think there is still a job to do in deciding if this is a complete set of functions and then working out what the associated non-functional requirements are.

Allotment Functional Requirements

manage the allotment

       manage social aspects

                   manage tenants

                   define rules

                   resolve conflicts

                   establish / maintain collective sense of ownership

       manage the site

                   manage space

                               manage utilities (water, power, waste disposal)

                               mark / maintain plot boundaries

                               define rents

                               collect rents

                               pay rents

                               manage costs v income

                               protect people

       manage physical environment

                   access the site

                               manage pedestrian access

                               manage car parking

                               manage cycle parking

                               manage / maintain road access

                               maintain bus stop

                               park a car

                               park a bicycle

                   access within site

                               access the plot (ingress, egress)

                               maintain secure storage

                               access the secure storage

                   maintain the growing climate

                               maintain fertile soil

                               maintain conducive topography

                               protect the crops

                   maintain wellbeing

                               establish / maintain contemplative space

                               establish / maintain peaceful environment

                               establish / maintain plot sense of ownership

This list of functions is not necessarily complete though.  Please do think about whether it is.  I think that will partly decide who’s perspective we view the allotment purpose from, i.e. what it’s Operational Requirement is.

Enjoy this long weekend fellow STA friends,


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