Overall I have not been impressed with automated Requirements tools from vendors like Rational or MKS; they just seem to be just list managers with change control... but I would like to hear from anyone using one of these products who finds them useful.
The main reason for today's post is a white paper I read today, from SOFEA Inc about their 'Customer Oriented Software Development' Methodology, which is supported by their Profesy tool (which is a pretty aggresive, self-confident name, even if it is spelled with an 'f' insteaf of 'ph').
The white paper is a pretty good, almost entertaining read for 15 pages, laying out how getting the right Requirements is the most important part of software development ( a little ego-stroking for us Business Analysts) but the methods used in the past (waterfall) could not ensure getting it right, and newer methods (CMMI or Agile) that were supposed to improve this have not made any impact.
So, what is SOFEA suggesting? ...that Requirements can't really capture the 'Customer Idea' that initiates software projects, you need to transform the 'Customer Idea' into 'Customer Needs' first, and from those you can generate all the rest of the usual development artifacts, starting with the Requirements... and then the White paper ends! No example of a Customer Need! or how it is different than what a Requirement would be!
I have been cruising their website (www.sofeainc.com) and have not seen any more detail; there are a few more documents available to download, but they make you identify yourself and your company before you can get the document ( I hate websites that do that!) , and I am not yet ready to contribute my identity to their marketing database. Perhaps they consider the definition and content of a 'Customer Need' to be a company secret, but they have to give it up at some point.
So, is anyone out there using Profesy? or has at least seen some more details that they could share? If so, post a comment to let me know. I am pretty much prepared to be underwhelmed if or when I get more details, but the white paper was just so good as far as it went, I can only hope they really have something good here.