Analyzing Requirements, Part 1

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I didn’t do a play by play for this class because… ugh. It’s a dry class. I’m bored, so I can only assume anyone reading would be bored. It’s sort of like taking an advanced calculus class if you’re an art major; it might be interesting (not) but you’ll probably never use it in real life.

It doesn’t help that the teacher sidetracks a lot, usually onto the topic of venture capitalists and startup companies. Which, of course, ends up having nothing to do with the concept we’re learning. Presumedly he’s showing us all this stuff so we know why the steps the book outlines are important to do… but I’m failing to see the connection. He starts out okay, but… well, it goes a lot like this:

“Class, the important thing in this step is that you document the requirements very clearly. The reason is, if you’re doing work for someone else, this set of requirements is going to be part of your contract, and there’s usually a clause in the contract that says something to the effect of ‘delivered product must match documentation.’ So they don’t have to pay you if you don’t stick to the requirements.”

So far, so good, right? Then he continues:

“I was working just the other day on a contract for TransCorp [or something like that] because, you know, Step is one of the most respected contractors in the area. And I was working on this contract that had some interesting requirements to it involving security terminology we were unfamiliar with and so we ended up solving the problem by…”

Whoa. We’re already heading away from the point here. Actually, here’s a better scenario:

“A vision statement is important because it helps the team focus on what the overall goal is. It includes a goal, a timeline, and usually something involving a restriction. Like ‘We’ll double sales by the end of the year without increasing budget.’ This is also sort of like an elevator pitch. Does everyone here know what an elevator pitch is?

“There’s this conference, SomeCon [I don’t remember the name], that’s really a great place to get venture capital. Only the top investors are there, and only 100 different companies get invited. So if you’re in the elevator at this conference, you’re going to want to pitch your company to the investor in there with you, so you can get to your Mezzanine round of funding.

“See, there are four rounds of funding in a company before you can go public. First there’s your seed round, where you get usually Angel money because investors don’t want to invest in this market. Then comes your first and second rounds of investors, usually certified venture capitalists since the SEC doesn’t want grandma losing her money so now they have everyone register if they want to invest. Finally comes your Mezzanine round, which is typically the hardest round to get to because it involves a LOT of money. After that, you try to go public.

“My company didn’t have the ability to get to the Mezzanine round because…”

I think you get the point. We’re on company funding from… vision statements? Gimme a break.

So that’s what I’m sitting through. Ugh. If there wasn’t a test on this shit, there’s no way I’d be here. I sincerely hope the test is as “easy” as a couple of my coworkers have made it out to be, because if I actually have to know this project management bull from front to back, I’m hosed.