Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Faceted Feature Analysis

Making sense out of good ideas using Faceted Feature Analysis ...

"Everyone has ideas. Many of those ideas are held passionately. Some are brilliant, some are unrealistic and some are down-right stupid.

• How can you make sense of ideas from multiple sources–formal requirements, brainstorm sessions, contextual inquiry, and input from the boss’s wife?
• How do you entertain all ideas and still weed out the good stuff from the garbage without hurting someone’s feelings–especially when that someone signs your check?
• How do you factor in real constraints and capabilities before these ideas become etched in stone?
• How do you take in the different points of view that come from a programmers or business owners, not to mention the actual users of your product?
• How do you do all these things and define project scope with some level of integrity that’s more than intuition or politics?

This article explains a process called “Faceted Feature Analysis.” It’s an exercise that I’ve been using for nearly 8 years on projects both large and small. The facets refer to three characterizing facets in any project: business value, ease of implementation, and user value.

Faceted Feature Analysis also uses three constraints that govern every project: cost, time, and quality.

By crossing the characterizing facets with constraints, you are combining the subjective needs of the project stakeholders with the objective constraints of the project in a way that ensures all points of view are fairly considered. It also ensures that a project requirement is not included or excluded simply because one person yelled louder than the others.

The process involves six steps:

1. Rating the Feature List
2. Creating a Flexibility Matrix
3. Mapping
4. Scoring
5. Sorting
5. Fine-Tuning"    (Continued via Boxes and Arrows)    [Usability Resources]

Preliminary Ratings on a Feature List - Usability, User Interface Design

Preliminary Ratings on a Feature List

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