RP: A Creative Brief, BRD, User Requirements Mash Up Document

2 Nov 2009 - 3:43pm
6 years ago
4 replies
2831 reads
Scott Bower

Repost: "Suggestions or Templates for Creative Brief + User
Requirements for Design Firm"

The post is well articulated, to me at least. But there was only one
response. So I am reposting this thread because, frankly, there is a
fundamental question that hasn't been answered and that I feel
deserves attention from the community.

Dan Saffer's first book mentioned that there are alternative specs
other than the loathsome BRD, but that they were experimental (I am
paraphrasing). But that's the standard with systems built in the
enterprise space. I have used mixtures of "adhoc" "experimental"
techniques for the peculiarities of a given project, such as a BRD in
After Effects. However, I have one of those rare situations where
there are a few extremely talented people involved, the decision
makers, and we can shape the requirements-vision-design-lifecycle all
the way through from the beginning.

I would love to hear specific success stories that were perhaps
experimental, that spoke in the language of business people AND
programmers, but at the same time, inspired a successful product that
was actually built and delivered, rather than, posts about how the
interpersonal dynamic of the modern business world gets in the way.

I am sure I have violated some rule by doing this, but I am an
artist, in my defense. Thanks in advance.


2 Nov 2009 - 5:13pm

I am glad you came back with a second attempt. We are in the process
of moving from traditional waterfall SDLC to Agile/Scrum. The UI and
Web designers are housed in our Creative Services Dept separate from
MIS. The Biz Analysts are under the umbrella of MIS. Historically the
BRD has ruled but SCRUM is forcing a faster way of moving and doing.
We are being told that the BRD (complete with full mock ups of look
and feel along with CSS style sheets and HTML) is going away and
things will be more adhoc. We have yet to officially define how that
will impact on our dept relative to User Testing, UX design, etc. We
are about to install JIRA for issue tracking, project management, and
we will have Gliffy (flowcharting and diagramming) and Balsamiq for
wireframes both of which are plug ins into JIRA. I think we will see
more wireframing, possibly less full mock ups but it is too soon to
tell. I haven't really answered your question...sorry. However you
at least now know that other shops struggle with the "to BRD or not
to BRD" and there doesn't seem to be a strick answer. I recently
attended a workshop by Dan Brown and Concept Modeling. I can
definitely see this as a way to speak to the architecture of a site,
to some extent a high level fleshing out of the content, the users,
the owners, etc. I know my dept. could use the approach but I dont
know if the stakeholders and/or MIS would ever embrace it. It is
just jazzy enough (from the tried and true tradition of software and
web site dev) that maybe the timing is NOW to introduce that as
another way of looking at how to build a good experience for the
I will be interested to see if anyone else posts to our posts :-).

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Posted from the new ixda.org

3 Nov 2009 - 12:22pm
Scott Bower

Reply To DRU Post

Wow. I could write a book, start a consulting firm, and do the
lecture circuit on what you just posted. I guess we are all doing the
same things?

I have been through everything you have described. From my limited

- The transition points between SDLC and PLM and the new Agile
process are critical and you must have total commit and buy in. SDLC
and BRD lifecycles should be looked at as Release Planning. The full
SDLC becomes a Release, so Agile actually forces something few
companies do well, which is a "real" vision that has 10 year and 5
year roadmap cycles that are not feature based. But that right there
is so alien to senior management, especially when they quit and quit
and quit whenever ownership comes up.

- BRD's are a competing set of poorly formed requirements. The BRD
might have a place if you are using it like people here are, they are
getting creative with it to address strategic portfolio management.
Not a top down, but a bottom up approach.

- Backlogs written as Goal Driven Narratives (aka User Stories) and
prioritized around themes (one to many) let you write periodic User
Tests that have end to end workflows. This deals with the big
problems with SCRUM, namely, weak or poor Product Owner(s)(should be
a team, not a person), and programmers building things in pieces that
at the end of Sprints cant be demoed by a User/Actor.

- Larry Constantine is your friend

- JIRA is a wonderful tool that can be used as part of a Bayseian
Engine with something like BigVisibleCruize and rBehave. I cant say
enough good things about it.

To the abstract models... exactly. I am dying to share what I have,
the time is know. Flick a switch and you have Ben Fry like
abstraction models of the systems and research that is all fully

Come on everyone, put down your NDA's and share.

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Posted from the new ixda.org

10 Nov 2009 - 4:51pm

Maybe we should continue you off line. Sorry to respond after so much
time. Things have been hectic. MIS has just purchased JIRA and I was
part of the team that assessed. Do you have Balsamiq and Gliffy? What
plug ins? We are also doing Green Hopper. I am now assigned to my
first SCRUM project and we shall see. As for weak project owners/biz
owners - such has always been the case regardless of methodology
human nature isn't going to change and further more is fairly
predictable. We shall continue pulling rabbits out of hats on
deadline :-).

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Posted from the new ixda.org

12 Nov 2009 - 4:24pm
Audrey Crane

Marty Cagan has done some good stuff, and is always focused on
bridging the gaps between design, eng and product.

>From this post: http://www.svpg.com/assessing-product-opportunities/
Fortunately, it%u2019s really not that hard to do a useful product
opportunity assessment. I ask product managers to answer ten
fundamental questions:

1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
6. Why now? (market window)
7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
(metrics/revenue strategy)
9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
10. Given the above, what%u2019s the recommendation? (go or no-go)

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Posted from the new ixda.org

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