Common planning deliverables

To communicate requirements, someone has to write them down. There are many ways to do this, and I'm not advocating any particular method. What matters most is that the right information has been captured, the right people can easily discuss it, and good commitments are made for what work should be done. If the way you document requirements does all this for you, great. If it doesn't, then look for a new method with these criteria in mind.

For reference purposes, I'll mention some of the common ways to document requirements and planning information. If nothing else, knowing the common lingo helps translate between the various methods used by different organizations. You'll find some teams document the requirements informally: "Oh, requirements...just go talk to Fred." Others have elaborate templates and review procedures that break these documents into insanely small (and possibly overlapping) pieces owned by different people.

• Marketing requirements document (MRD). This is the business or marketing team's analysis of the world. The goal is to explain what business opportunities exist and how a project can exploit those opportunities. In some organizations, this is a reference document to help decision makers in their thinking. In other organizations, it is the core of project definition and everything that follows derives strongly from it. MRDs help to define the "what" of a project.

• Vision/scope document. A vision document encapsulates all available thinking about what a project might be into a single composition. If an MRD exists, a vision document should inherit and refer heavily to it. A vision document defines the goals of a project, why they make sense, and what the high-level features, requirements, or dates for a project will be (see Chapter 4). Vision documents directly define the "what" of a project.

• Specifications. These capture what the end result of the work should be for one part of the project. Good specifications are born from a set of requirements. They are then developed through iterative design work (see Chapters 5 and 6), which may involve modifying/improving the requirements. Specs are complete when they provide a workable plan that engineering can use to fulfill requirements (how much detail they must have is entirely negotiable with engineering). Specifications should inherit heavily in spirit from vision documents. Specifications define the "how" of a project from a design and engineering perspective.

• Work breakdown structure (WBS). While a specification details the work to be done, a WBS defines how a team of engineers will go about doing it. What work will be done first? Who will do it? What are all of the individual pieces of work and how can we track them? A WBS can be very simple (a spreadsheet) or very complex (charts and tools), depending on the needs of the project. Chapters 7 and 13 will touch on WBS-type activities. WBS defines the "how" of a project from a team perspective.

Understanding SEO Help People Find Your Business

Understanding SEO Help People Find Your Business

So what does SEO stand for and what does it do for your offline business? Search Engine Optimization is the official title and you can see why it is commonly abbreviated. If you are wondering about SEO then you either have a new website or are considering setting one up. SEO comes in to play once your site is live on the web. After all you now have to get visitors to actually see your site. In SEO terms attracting visitors is known as generating traffic and this can be achieved by using search engine optimization tactics.

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