Scope and spec via task analysis grid

Todd Warfel shared an interesting deliverable, The Task Analysis Grid, a sort of visual substitute for a requirements document, saying

Personally, I’ve yet to come across a requirements document that is usable and doesn’t take a couple of days to get everyone on the same page. So, we use something different – a task analysis grid….

Each column starts out with a scenario, describes a task and is followed by all the sub-tasks necessary to complete the task. The sub tasks are colour-coded and prioritized from 1 (must haves) to 4 (some day in the future).

This is one of our most successful artifacts during the design process (next to personas and wireframes). A client once said that this artifact “takes our 60 page requirements document and distills it down to one page.”

[E]ssentially, this single document allows anyone looking at it to see the entire scope of a project, figure out what’s in this release (1) as well as what we’re planning for future releases (2, 3, and 4). It’s an extremely effective artifact for getting everyone on the same page.

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