Borland Software has announced TeamDefine, a simulation tool that lets business stakeholders translate initial software project concepts into working models through storyboards and interactive simulations. Team members can then try these simulations to gain an understanding of the features and functions before development begins. According to Borland, TeamDefine can render an interactive simulation that "shows" a requirement in a way that word-processing documents can't. This leads to dynamic conversations, valuable feedback, and faster consensus between business and development teams.
"Numerous studies conducted over the years on software project waste and failures have traced the roots to requirements," said Borland's David Wilby. "I say this makes requirements the greatest opportunity for improvement -- a big fix here will yield exponential returns. We've all known this for a long time, but we continue to use ineffective ways to elicit, verify and manage requirements. TeamDefine offers a major leap forward, a way to build customer satisfaction, shortened time-to-value, and innovation into every project."
Once a simulation has been created, TeamDefine makes it possible for groups to share and collaborate. Anyone with a Web browser can experience and comment on simulations from anywhere.
For companies adopting more Agile delivery approaches to increase responsiveness and improve quality, TeamDefine can help facilitate requirements collaboration in a rapid, iterative way. For the past two years, Borland's own development organization has been undergoing an Agile transformation. As part of this effort, Borland has also transformed its processes for gathering and managing requirements.
"Requirements definition is definitely a team sport here at Borland," said Michael Klobe, development director at Borland. "Everyone -- customers, marketing, product management, engineering, QA -- participates, collaborating to share ideas and break down problems. However, with all these perspectives come opportunities for misinterpretation and confusion. We use TeamDefine in our meetings to show a working simulation of the feature or user story we are discussing. This enables us to quickly get everyone on the same page, and once we have consensus, our estimations and prioritizations are much more effective."