CHAPTER 2 Before the Beginning

It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.



  • The features that a document management system provides
  • Why documentation is important
  • How you can easily archive e-mails for later use
  • Typical types of documentation

Before you start working on a software project, even before you dig into the details of what the project is about, there are preparations you should make. In fact, some of these can be useful even if you’re not considering a software project.

These tools improve your chances for success in any complicated endeavor. They raise the odds that you’ll produce something that will satisfy the application’s customers. They’ll also help you survive the process so that you’ll still be working on the project when the accolades start rolling in.

Typically, you’ll use these tools and techniques throughout all of a project’s stages. You’ll use them while you’re gathering requirements from the customer, during the design and programming phases, and as you roll out the final result to the users. You’ll even use them after you’ve finished releasing an application and you’re considering enhancements for the next version.

The following sections describe some beginning-to-end tools that you can use to help keep team members focused and the project on track.


A software engineering project uses a lot of documents. It uses requirements documents, use cases, ...

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