For an article: What do you wish your CIO understood about requirements?

For an article: What do you wish your CIO understood about requirements?

Post by estherschi » Mon, 25 Dec 2006 02:02:34

Howdy, folks. I'm senior online editor at, these days, after
several years of running and contributing to software development
publications. I am, of course, still paying a lot of editorial
attention to the software development community. It's just that now I
have the ear of the boss.

Initially I posted this message to comp.programming. Someone just wrote
to me privately to suggest that I also post it here. I apologize in
advance if this is overkill.

Among the things that CIOs most desperately want to know -- really,
they say this -- is what their development staff thinks, but doesn't
SAY. At least, the developer won't say it directly to the CIO or other
top management. So I'm starting a series of articles about "what CIOs
really need to know about..." which will cover various topics. The
first one is about software requirements.

My question to you is a very simple one. ***If you could get your CIO
to understand one thing, just ONE THING about software requirements,
what would it be?***

And then, the obvious follow-up: why did you pick *that*? War stories
to illustrate your point would be great.

You can touch on anything to do with the software requirements process;
I'm game for whatever you give me.

Ideally I would quote you by name and company and location ("Esther
Schindler is a senior developer at the Groovy Corporation in Scottsdale
Arizona") but as long as you give me some kind of context I'm willing
to work without one. That is, I do need some identifying
characteristics to give the article credibility ("Esther works at a
large finance company in the Southwest") but I don't want you to lose
your job when the CIO realizes that the developer quoted works for
*her*! <grin> So please be sure to let me know how to refer to you in
the article.

I'll be sure to stop by here (as I expect others want to participate in
the conversation), but it'd be great if you could send me a private
message. I don't want to miss any responses. Reply privately if that's
easier, too -- the best address for this is esther at bitranch dot com.

I plan to work on this during the holiday and to collect responses over
the next week or so. I'm hoping to publish the article on by
mid-January at the latest.

So: what clue would you like your CIO to get? about software
requirements, that is?

Esther Schindler
senior online editor
CXO Media