When you hear the words “It’s not rocket science what we are trying to do here!”, you are hearing the words of a frustrated person. When I hear this sentence in a software project, I have found the person usually means this:
- “Why don’t the software developers just implement what the business asked them to do?”
- “Why do we need another meeting to talk about the requirements?”
- “Why is this taking so long?”
Talk to the software developers, they might tell you why:
- Because they still have questions. Maybe because they only received two PowerPoint-slides and second-hand information from a project manager.
- Because the business failed to specify all the edge cases.
- *Because business keeps changing the requirements after implementation has already started.*
These are all perfect recipes for frustration.
Frustration. On both sides.
What’s the solution? There is no quick fix. A situation like this is often part of a problematic company culture. But still, you can try:
- Get the developers and business people to talk to each other.
- Agree on a “Definition of Ready” and stick to it. Don’t start implementation before you know all the requirements.
- Agree to not change requirements after implementation has started.
- Keep talking to each other.
This will be painful in the beginning, because business will be pushing hard against 2 and 3. If you don’t have management support, you are destined to fail. In that case it might be time to update your CV and start looking for a company with a more developer-friendly culture. 😀