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Re: The frustrated architect

This is very true, I have no formal qualifications or anything in software development/architecture so my designs are purely based on my own experience, suggestions from the developers and whatever else I happen to come across. So I'll have plenty of war stories to tell the grandchildren. The archer's eye is a great phrase as you see in my role I have complete commercial responsibility for our software development division and so not only must I ensure that we deliver the business benefits to our customers I must also make sure that we make some money doing so. This requires me to work with our customers to identify their business needs, design a business focussed solution to deliver those needs, accurately cost it, manage it throughout the entire development life cycle and manage the people working on it - including the customer. We still have to work on a fixed price basis and so whilst the idea of a product backlog and user stories etc sound great, I haven't found a commercially sound way of using them when I also need to provide a fixed cost for the project upfront. My approach is therefore to write a complete functional specification at the beginning (which is where the 250 pages come from) and then provide a cost for the project based on the delivery of that as a software solution. However, the document isn't considered sacred and and we often tweak and adapt it as the project progresses based usually due to discovering new scenarios at the customer end or simply coming up with a new idea for something. The cost is then adjusted accordingly but this way it never moves too far away from the original number and it gives the business owners we work with, what is to them, an acceptable level of risk management.

Re: The frustrated architect


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