Archive for May 2008

You Can’t Test Documents for Correctness or Completeness

[This is part of my series on the Communication Problems with Waterfall]

A common flaw of many develpment documents: You can’t test them.

It is a glaring flaw of the typical document generated in software development that there is no way to know if it is correct or complete.   We can do our work diligently and honestly and still end up with a lot of mistakes, missing pieces, extra (unneeded) pieces, and misunderstandings.

It would be nice to be able to “click a button” and prove that we have collected all the requirements, and that they are exactly what the customer needs and/or wants, or even that it is what the customer THINKS they need or want.  We can’t test an ER Diagram to prove that it will result in a database that stores everything we need and nothing more than we need, and allows us to create, retrieve, and use data with all the qualities we expect.  We can’t test object models and sequence diagrams (as far as I know, anyway) to prove our design is useful or good.  Well… you get the idea.  Continue reading ‘You Can’t Test Documents for Correctness or Completeness’ »