Without a proper system, managing information is HARD.
That's why we created Living Spec.
“One of my past customers was a large enterprise who presented long and complicated PRDs. They wanted to know the cost and timeline of a project, but it was impossible to sort through the data and requirements because their spreadsheets were so outdated.
For example, they’d developed a scheduling system including more than 20 different versions of date pickers, all very similar, because they didn't have a way to share across teams what they were building, so no one knew it had already been done. This resulted in an investment of over $1M just in widgets to pick the date off a calendar.
A lot of organizations struggle to write things down because they're used to sitting in a room together or meeting in person and figuring things out but this doesn't work well when people leave or get promoted, and someone else needs to do their job. These issues are symptoms of a bigger problem: not having a centralized system to track what was built, why it was built, and the decisions that were made.
For years, I’ve been asked to speak at conferences about which framework to choose for building software. In reality, my talks have been focused on teaching people how to think through their requirements and features, choose a framework accordingly, and most importantly, avoid the costly mistake of engaging in repetitive debates and not documenting their decision-making process.”
“I once worked with a large enterprise where each team had a different way of looking at information. Senior management used PowerPoint, middle management used Excel spreadsheets, project managers lived in Jira tickets, while software engineers lived in the code and Git, and QA testers used their own system.
What we observed was that people would translate the requirements from the PowerPoint into Excel spreadsheets, into Jira tickets, and finally into code and test cases. Then everything would get translated back into the Excel spreadsheet and PowerPoint presentations. This caused a lot of information to get lost while no one was actually communicating throughout the process.
It was like the classic game of telephone where messages get distorted as it moves up and down the ladder. This really emphasizes how difficult it is to get everyone on the proverbial same page and collaborate together efficiently if you don't have a system that integrates with all these different perspectives.”