Outside-in Software Development: A Practical Approach to Building Successful Stakeholder-Based Products / Edition 1

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"Outside-in thinking complements any approach your teams may be taking to the actual implementation of software, but it changes how you measure success. A successful outside-in team does a lot of learning and not much speculation."

—Tom Poppendieck

Build Software That Delivers Maximum Business Value to Every Key Stakeholder

Imagine your ideal development project. It will deliver exactly what your clients need. It will achieve broad, rapid, enthusiastic adoption. And it will be designed and built by a productive, high-morale team of expert software professionals. Using this book's breakthrough "outside-in" approach to software development, your next project can be that ideal project.

In Outside-in Software Development , two of IBM's most respected software leaders, Carl Kessler and John Sweitzer, show you how to identify the stakeholders who'll determine your project's real value, shape every decision around their real needs, and deliver software that achieves broad, rapid, enthusiastic adoption.

The authors present an end-to-end framework and practical implementation techniques any development team can quickly benefit from, regardless of project type or scope. Using their proven approach, you can improve the effectiveness of every client conversation, define priorities with greater visibility and clarity, and make sure all your code delivers maximum business value.

Coverage includes

  • Understanding your stakeholders and the organizational and business context they operate in
  • Clarifying the short- and long-term stakeholder goals your project will satisfy
  • More effectively mapping project expectations to outcomes
  • Building more "consumable" software: systems that are easier to deploy, use, and support
  • Continuously enhancing alignment with stakeholder goals
  • Helping stakeholders manage ongoing change long after you've delivered your product
  • Mastering the leadership techniques needed to drive outside-in development
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131575516
  • Publisher: IBM Press
  • Publication date: 10/8/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Kessler is vice president of worldwide development with the IBM Software Group. He has led large software development organizations at IBM for more than a decade, primarily in the enterprise content management, systems management, security, and networking arenas. Prior to his product development assignments, Carl was with IBM Research where his roles included director of software technology and chief information officer. Carl is a senior member of the IEEE and holds several patents.

John Sweitzer is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology with more than twenty-six years of experience developing architectures for large complex software systems. He currently leads the IBM Software Group's outside-in design initiative, a subset of outside-in development that addresses design practices that impact the consumability and business relevance of integrated software products. Previously John was the chief architect for the IBM Autonomic Computing initiative, and prior to that, chief architect for the Tivoli systems management brand. John was a founding member of the DMTF standards committee for the Common Information Model, authored a book about that model, has several external publications, and holds numerous patents.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xxiii

About the Authors xxv

Chapter 1 Introducing Outside-in Development 1

There may be challenges to overcome 2

Consider a different way of thinking about software product development 2

Consider some proven techniques as well 3

It takes a whole team to succeed 3

Understand your stakeholders 4

Understand organizational context 5

Make your products consumable 7

Align with your stakeholders' goals 7

Define success in your stakeholders' terms 8

Become an outside-in developer 9

The leader's role in outside-in development 9

Essential point: You can get started now 10

Chapter 2 Understanding Your Stakeholders 11

Introduction to stakeholder understanding 12

Identify the stakeholders 16

Understand the stakeholders' goals 18

The four stakeholder groups 23

Engage in dialog with stakeholders 31

Align client discussions with stakeholder goals 41

The leader's role in understanding your stakeholders 43

Essential points 44

Key terms 45

Chapter 3 Understanding Organizational Context 47

Introduction to organizational context 49

Handling diverse client requirements 59

Use organizational context to speak your stakeholders' language 60

The leader's role in using organizational context 68

Essential points 68

Key terms 68

Chapter 4 Making Products Consumable 71

Introduction to product consumability 73

Identify consumability meta-tasks 78

Use a consumability score card to guide investments 82

Choose which consumability meta-tasks to emphasize 93

Allow more people to use your product 99

The leader's role in making products consumable 101

Essential points 102

Key terms 103

Chapter 5 Aligning with Stakeholder Goals 105

Introduction to stakeholder alignment 107

Focus dialog on what matters to stakeholders 108

Plan to have the capacity to stay aligned with your stakeholders 120

Minimize noise in your deliverables to improve stakeholder feedback 127

Help ensure quality 129

Rehearse for the success of your product 137

The leader's role in aligning with stakeholder goals 143

Essential points 144

Key terms 144

Chapter 6 Defining Success in Your Stakeholders' Terms 147

Introduction to stakeholder success in production 148

Wave one: It is all about principal stakeholder success 150

Use what you learn from the first wave 157

Wave two: It is all about the long-term commitment to your clients 164

Wave three: Help your stakeholders deal with the old and the new 168

The leader's role in defining success 169

Essential points 170

Key terms 170

Chapter 7 Becoming an Outside-in Developer 173

How to adopt outside-in development techniques 174

Insights into effective use of outside-in development 181

The leader's role in adopting outside-in development 196

Essential points 196

Key terms 197

Index 199

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    deprecate partners

    Befuddled by a myriad of software development methodologies, and the incessant arguing between the proponents of these? Kessler and Sweitzer take a slightly different tack. They build their approach around stakeholders. By which they mean 4 groups. End users (=customers, of course). Principals (=executives in your customer companies). Partners. Insiders (=people in your company). Of these, the partners are perhaps the least significant. They are typically the sysadmins at the customer locations, who have to install and maintain your product. The book doesn't seem to come out and say this directly. But ideally, there should be little or no involvement by partners. For you to actively design your product to minimise the partner interaction is (in general) desirable from your standpoint and even from their's. If only because a typical sysadmin has too much already on her hands, with other products and hardware that demand more attention. Of course, a given product might necessitate sysadmin involvement. And in this case, you certainly should consult with partners. But just as you should strive for Zero Defects in your team's code, so too, perhaps, should you aspire for minimal maintenance. In the logical limit, that locks out partners. Which is fundamentally different from the other stakeholders. The book goes on to describe how you should involve the stakeholders. In building use cases, for example. The mechanics of how one does that are finer grained details, left to books like Writing Effective Use Cases. Overall, the book's methodology is fairly lightweight. Presented as compatible with approaches like Rational Unified Process, waterfall, or various agile implementations. It is certainly not like trying the heavyweight CMMI.

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