The V.A.L.U.A.B.L.E. Rubric for Writing Better Requirements

In this episode I talk about a problem that afflicts many product companies – poor communication between product management and development.

And I describe an approach that can help improve the communication and improve everyone’s motivation – a new rubric for writing good requirements which I call VALUABLE.

That’s an acronym for Valuable, Aligned, Loved, Understood, Acceptance tests, Bounded, Leverages, and Expected Usage. It will all become clear when you listen to the episode – or download the infographic.

V.A.L.U.A.B.L.E. Infographic

Click to access the infographic I mention in the episode.


In the episode I mentioned a number of previous posts, a book, and some useful posts on other peoples’ blogs. The links are below:

  • You can find Scott Selhorst’s Big 10 Rules For Writing Good Requirements on his blog, Tyner-Blain
  • Dan Pink’s Drive is terrific. Kathy Sierra says “It’s the best summary of self-determination theory,” by which she means “It explains a ton of how and why we act the way we do, including what really motivates us to do stuff.”
  • I wrote about the product management lexicon and why it’s getting to be time to rethink a lot of the words we’re using, often because we’ve just inherited them from “IT” – Information Technology – and while they sound like they apply to product management, they really don’t. (This is related to the term “requirement” and why it’s problematic.)
  • One of my favorite techniques for quality requirements is the “Impact Areas” concept, which should be part of the table of contents of your requirements.
  • I have a few articles about how interesting things – that is, new product capabilities that provide significant value to customers – are usually not estimatable, even if we are confident that they are “attainable,” to use Scott Selhorst’s phrase.
  • My book The Secret Product Manager Handbook, a guide to product management, has a lot more on how to work with developers to deliver great solutions to market problems. One reviewer said “I really think your book was incredibly valuable. Much easier to use than [another well-known product management book].”

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