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Effective UI by John McRee, Jonathan Anderson, EffectiveUI Team, Robb Wilson

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Chapter 3. Effective Planning and Requirements

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Planning and requirements are difficult subjects in the world of software development, and are often points of bitter contention between managers and project teams. It seems to be universally recognized that the typical approach to managing software projects hasn’t been working particularly well, and projects are perpetually behind schedule and over budget. The development of software—especially innovative, well-designed, user-centered products—simply can’t be planned and managed in traditional ways, and failure to recognize this and adapt properly can lead to grinding failures, misconstrued goals, and half-baked products.

Despite the need for unique management approaches, software development projects exist in the context of businesses where strong planning and risk management are critical. Publicized release dates, limited budgets, forces of competition, and other unavoidable pressures push managers to try to get certainty in what will be delivered, when it will be delivered, and what it will cost. That this certainty has never been possible before usually doesn’t cause managers to ...

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