How can you quickly determine whether a recommendation or technique is relevant to your context? You can use context-precision. Context precision is simply a set of categories that help clarify the context. I use context-precision both for creating more relevant guidance and for evaluating the relevancy of guidance.
Here’s an example figure I draw on a whiteboard or use in slides when I need to show context-precision.
Categories for Context
Here’s an example set of categories:
- Application Type: Web application, Web service, component/library, desktop application, mobile application
- Deployment Scenario: Intranet, Extranet, Internet.
- Project Type: In house IT, 3rd party, shrink-wrapped software …etc.
- Life Cycle: RUP, MSF, XP, Waterfall, Agile, Spiral … etc.
Note how you can quickly walk the context. For example, are you building an Internet facing Web application in a large Enterprise scenario? Are you building a Web service in a high-security context for a government deployment scenario? … etc. You can modify the categories to suit you. The key is to choose categories that help show meaningful differences.
How To Use Context-Precision
You can use context-precision to get clarity in the following ways: