SYSK 276: Are These “Requirements” or “Desirements”?

I’m sure we all have dealt with business stakeholders that want it all in the next version… This idea was well captured in the image below copied from a presentation by Dan Rawsthorne (Net Objectives):


But did you know research shows that 60% of features you build into your applications are not used by customers (source: presentation by Hubert Smits with Rally Software)? 


In the old days the better project managers would categorize features as “must-have” and “nice-to-have”…  With the agile development processes being adopted at an ever increasing rate, a new word was invented and rapidly spread as a way to differentiate between a wanted feature and an essential one — “Desirements”.


So, next time you participate in the planning session for the V-Next feature set, remember that what is expressed as a requirement may be just a desirement…  To filter out the real requirements, ask questions to determine if the feature is:

  • Driven by regulatory requirements (e.g. implement by January 1st or face substantial fines)

  • Is necessary to enable new business

  • Is vital to stay competitive within the marketplace

  • Is an enhancement to an existing feature that makes it more usable

  • Minor change that take little time to implement

  • Etc.


The bottom line is – try to focus on features with high ROI rather than trying to simply add more features.




Comments (1)

  1. Jim 2.0 says:

    . . . so they're not out of scope , but are they actually requirements? A colleague forwarded the