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Rose City SPIN: Developing Requirements for Legacy Systems

Intel Jones Farm Conference Center (JFCC)
2111 NE 25th Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124, US (map)



This is a free talk open to the public and presented by the Rose City Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN).

Logistics: Networking from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM Talk presented from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (doors close at 7:15)

Talk: Developing Requirements for Legacy Systems presented by Bill Baker

Abstract: Many legacy systems were created without documented requirements. Over the years, changes were made, often without adequate documentation. Software quality suffers as the system becomes more and more complex. This presentation will provide a case study of bringing requirements management and other related process improvements to a legacy software product — one which has been successful for over twenty years.

A cross-functional team of management undertook a project to improve significantly the processes related to requirements. This presentation describes the lessons learned while undertaking this project. Among these are: • A good implementation start is essential. Outside consultants are useful. Fully involve all stakeholders. • Different audiences have different needs. Find effective ways to communicate to each audience. • Be pragmatic when choosing what requirements to write and how much effort to put into describing the current system. • Leverage tool adoption to make changes that are more general to the software development process.

Author Bio: Bill Baker is a software development manager at Sage in Beaverton Oregon. He has been involved in software development, project management, and process improvement for a number of years. While at Harland Financial Solutions, Bill led the improvements outlined in this paper. Bill has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University and an excessive collection of other degrees from Washington State University and Michigan State University.

About the Rose City SPIN: The Rose City Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN) is a monthly forum for networking, mutual support, and promotion of effective software practices. We exchange practical experiences, ideas, knowledge, wisdom, and war stories about the technical, business, and human facets of software process improvement. The Rose City SPIN serves the software development community of the Portland/Vancouver metro area. Whether you work for a large company or a small one, corporate or self-employed, industrial or academic setting, you are welcome at the Rose City SPIN.