J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Roles and Goals

Roles and Goals

  • Comments 1

The next time I need to get a set of requirements, I'm simply going to start with roles with goals.

I made the mistake of asking for a set of scenarios.  What I ended up with is a list of user tasks.  Tasks aren't the same as goals.  Flying a kite is not the same as having a goal to discover electricity.  One is what you're doing, the other is what you want to accomplish.

Since I didn't have the benefit of direct customer interaction for this case, I'm using that as a challenge.  What is the most precise, reliable way to get the information need?  Roles with goals.  I realized, iterating on a list of roles with goals, would get me closer, faster.  I can always drill into the stories or scenarios from the goals.  The reverse doesn't seem to be true.

  • I've used slightly different terminology, but it boils down to the same thing. For goals we use "Objectives". What is the set of end user objectives - what is their intended accomplishment? By understanding objectives, we can delve into the details of the scenarios to get a full understanding of what they want to accomplish and how we can get them there.

    Of course, different types of users may have similar objectives but want to get there in different ways. That's where personas come in, which is very similar (I think) to your "roles" term. I like to see you flesh out the "role" term a little more though before I conclude that.

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