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Help Me Understand What I am Seeing Here

Responsibility MatrixThings seemed to get a little heated in the meeting yesterday.  Upon reviewing the vendor-supplied PowerPoint deck, we noticed graphs illustrating the quantity of issues found and when the vendor planned to fix them.  So, we flipped back a few slides and noticed a table detailing the quantity of requirements that passed or failed, during the last build.  What we didn’t get was something that illustrated the relationship between the two.  Since it wasn’t included in the packet, we wanted an explanation.

Never ask a question in an accusatory manner.  Don’t be condescending.  Make sure the other party hears what you say and understands.  I started with something like this

So help me understand what I’m seeing here.
I see….  …Is that what you see?

I’m looking for the relationship between the issues found and the work you were authorized to complete.  Can you help me with this?

What was missing here was a Requirements Traceability Matrix. It would have answered everything. During this build, only work pertaining to agreed upon requirements should have been done. Only work pertaining to agreed upon requirements should have been tested. Therefore, we should have known immediately which requirements had passed and which failed.  That didn’t happen.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using user stories or requirements.  There are documented expectations that need to be met.  User acceptance criteria should be known.

Any questions?

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of Enterprise Engagements at LeadingAgile. I'm super focused on results. But I also take the hand waving out of organizational transformations. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)

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