"Be Clear, Be Simple, Be Valuable."
That's the advice Chris Lockhart provides, as he walks readers of his latest post through an exercise in discovering and documenting end-user requirements.
The bottom line, Lockhart says, it that business users don't care one bit about technology being employed. They want whatever delivers results. Can you explain what you can do for them in a single tweet?
"We begin by speaking in conceptual terms. We speak in terms of capabilities. What is it that we, as IT, need to be able to do, at a high level, in order to fix this problem? Forget cost. That comes later. Forget vendors. That comes last. Give me a sentence, in 140 characters, that describes the means by which we succeed. If you can't, I submit you're ill equipped to be in the business of architecture."
Solutions and architectures need to start with capabilities, Lockhart points out. "They must be capability based. They must be informative without clobbering our customers with unnecessary details."
Simplicity is golden.