Requirement Culling Success

Today was a day of great productivity. Zero lines of code were written but I managed to make some serious progress in understanding the requirements of my customer. As stated previously, this project is planned to be rolled out in multiple phases and we were able to concretize those phases.

Culling the development tree is not easy, but by laying out all of the requirements and features we eventually want, we were able to divide them into ‘phase 1’ and ‘not phase 1’.   We also identified what my previous boss would call “Showstoppers”.  (He eventually was  good-heartedly identifed  with the phrase “… but is it a showstopper?”).

In my limited experience, identifying showstoppers goes a long way to moving past the 80% done mark (software is perpetually 80% done).

One of the showstoppers we identified was the manual entry of lab values. We decided that there is no good reason to force a busy lab staff to enter values manually… in fact we showed that it would be slower than writing them by hand in the chart.  This data gap (from lab machine to EMR product) was one of my biggest fears. Because this aspect is contingent on external forces (Lab machine vendor, local office IT support) we decided to make it phase 2.

The staff also universally agreed that the short-term authentication system we have implemented was necessary for staff accountability and unobtrusive enough for daily use… Hurrah!

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