My recent road trip was a great reminder how quality is durable. As I passed through familiar territory, it was interesting to see how many building and places stood the test of time.
On the Microsoft patterns & practices team, we use Vision / Scope as a key milestone. It’s where we frame the problem, identify the business opportunity, and paint a vision of the solution. It’s a forcing function to get clarity on the customer, their scenarios, and our scope for the project. We generally use a “fix time, flex scope” pattern, so this means having a candidate backlog that we prioritize with customers.
Here is a draft of our Cloud Security Frame as part of our early exploration work for our patterns & practices Cloud Security Project. It’s a lens for looking at Cloud Security. The frame is simply a collection of Hot Spots. Each Hot Spot represents an actionable category for information. Using Hot Spots, you can quickly find pain and opportunities, or key decision points.
At patterns & practices, we use Vision Scope milestones to sell management on how we'll change the world. Knowing the vision and scope for a project is actually pretty key. The vision will motivate you and your team in the darkest of times. It gets you back on your horse when you get knocked off. The scope is important because it's where you'll usually have to manage the most expectations of what you will and won't do.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Mike de Libero. Mike has been doing software development for more than 9 years in a variety of settings. He’s worked as a freelance developer. He’s also worked on a small team of developers maintaining 30+ programs at one time. He’s even worked as a security tester on the Microsoft Office team.