Weighing the importance of software features
The following ILTA KM publication describes principles that apply to all sorts of product-selection projects, not just to search. Clarify has the definitions that Cersys uses. In addition to impact ranking, it is helpful to consider when the feature will be needed. Something might be business-critical in the long run, but not essential in the first roll-out.
“… group all the items under related topics, and then to prioritize them. We had five categories: “Essential,” “Very Important,” “Important”, “Nice to have,” and “Useful but not critical.” We also established a list of the top ten essential items, which proved very useful in doing a focused comparison between the two search engines that we compared.
One aspect to bear in mind, though, is that this scoring and weighting process is designed to select a search engine to test. There will necessarily be other relevant factors that cannot be reduced to a mere score. This process does, however, concentrate the mind wonderfully on all of the necessary features of your search engine.
In case you’re wondering why the Cersys ‘impact ranking’ terminology is identical to John Gillies’, it’s because I’d established the approach while part of that team in a prior project.
Related articles elsewhere at Cersys:
- Why, what, and how – project control for IT
- User Scenarios and Use Cases
- Import Requirements guidelines – Content Migration Series
- Requirements Best Practices – Content Migration Series
- Enterprise Search: ready to replace Document Management?