Requirements management

hey starting a new thread as this is a beefy conversation I keep circling back around to and happy to “go public” with this conversation perhaps after a few initial chats.

ah - i think you’re onto something. i think these are the entities that are emerging:

  1. wiki: list of tools
  2. wiki: list of requirements
  3. discussion: tools in general
  4. discussion: tool specific
  5. discussion: requirements in general (bleeding into vision)
  6. discussion: requirement specific

this is quickly getting into the realm of “requirements management” a field I become quite passionate about in 2001 when I prototyped a company’s mission and traced it to key results and objectives and then to people being resources. I demoed it to the CEO at the time and my boss’ boss got pissed off and fired me (lol, yes I can laugh at it now - i feel i’m still paying the “price of innovation” to some degree…)

I knew the process was recursive and that people like you & I could manage our life purpose in such a system and have traceability to all our projects and outcomes we envision. I still tinker around with creative ways to achieve this in all the tools that have crossed my path.

I bring all this up because I hope you see the connection to community planning. (I’ve since become more passionate about volunteers wielding such power - they tend to be under-resourced)

I just watched a demo of an open source OSRMT and ah! it looked so archaic I had to shut it off (to give you some perspective, a tool called RequisitePro did some really cool stuff providing a document interface to highlight and link written requirements to a backend database which was the traceability engine - as much as I hate Word, it really looked like magic)

in any case, I became curious about what happened to ReqPro and found an article saying EOL came back in 2017. I watched the Jama video and it’s standard marketing speak. I need to see the tool - I want to know where we’ve come in 20 years.

I bring all this up because I don’t want to reinvent the tool. I think there is a real opportunity to focus on the niche of community planning and development and provide a tool that really helps non-profits, open source communities, startups manage all these “soft” requirements that are part of the job.

just trying to coordinate with a bunch of Roam volunteers and the company is challenging work and I just synthesized the Slack & Zoom discussion into Roam.

if the team doesn’t bite, I’ll end up demoing it you over Zoom or something.

I feel we’re so on the frontier trying to join digital gardening with community planning and development and using innovative platforms like Roam.

I sense a breakthrough coming and it’s just a matter of when.

how you want to connect this discussion with others, I’m not quite sure.

I want to give the team until next Wed eve and I can bring it up in the organizing meeting and listen.

I’m going to revisit the Rizzoma doc to see if I can put something skeletal in there. I really wasn’t going to touch it until Matt did and at this point, I am pulling the bull by its horns!

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Yow, 22 days to response! :confused: Ah well, so it goes. And I will hopefully be less busy/over-extended in a month or so. No promises on my procrastination cooperating though. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Could be. Each “wiki” could also just be the first post in a discussion thread about tools, with that first post being edited by any participant, and ongoing discussion to refine that content happening below it over time. I guess I just mean that separating “wiki” from “discussion” is not strictly necessary.

I’m also a bit unsure what the “general” vs. “specific” entities are here, as you see them. The general could proceed to the specific over time, for example? Are they separate actual discussions, or just components of discussion, phases, etc? Curious what you had in mind.

Funny, isn’t this approach to things all the rage in the startup world now? OKRs and whatnot…

Color me intrigued. I see potential too, but not sure about the path to finding, configuring, or building the tool.

Cool! Where are we at with that now that 3 weeks have passed? :smile:

We’re definitely up against the edge. Interesting and challenging place to be. I wish I had more time/attention to give to it. Or at least that we had the momentum of a community where each member could contribute where and as time/energy allowed, but the overall project could continue without each of us having to keep pushing consistently. :thinking:

I guess I mean I think one route to greater success/progress is to find our “tribe”, for surely there must exist like-minded communities already out there, already trying to do this stuff. Then again that directly contradicts my immediately preceding assertion that we’re on the edge, i.e. of unexplored territory. And of course Roam, and Conor’s dreams, are almost certainly that…

Mmm, yeah. I know the feeling.

Anyway, if nothing else, I’m still here, still alive! Curious how we can create a sustainable ongoing discussion by widening it out and bringing more folks in. Sounds like you have more connections along those lines than I currently do?

ok I think I have you beat at 7 months :sweat_smile:

I actually opened this thread up on Sunday and while on the phone with you, I couldn’t multitask at this level!

[please feel free to thread - I numbered 5 of them]

I took a few minutes to read yr response & glad we now have Wellbeing Commons fodder & what it means to integrate expert communities who may not necessarily be interested in knowledge engineering itself (thus the idea of harvesting wisdom in Discourse)

now that I think about it, the art of harvesting wisdom from a Zoom into Roam is already a challenging enough task (see the “Q/Walk. Why?” thread I pasted in Notion for the inception of the method)

do you feel sensemaking at the level of a text thread (eg. in Discourse) is easier to “automate” or attach workflow to? I actually would like to question this hypothesis.

I’d like to keep working towards picking a question or two in the Wellbeing Commons to approach professors and/or authors about & see if we can enlist them in observing how they engage. what value is created?

we have to acknowledge RBC has had guest authors, their preference appears to have stimulating Q&A in real-time - answers that extend their current train of thought & give them fodder for their next book.

How To Take Smart Notes (Athens), Range (Epstein), How To Live (Divers) are the 3 examples of authors choosing to be their followers and having a good time.

The idea of an RBC open house will cause a massive interconnectedness of book communities and the outside world. I imagined this happening in

I think the core thread of tools to support community development is still on point.

RBC6/RBC7/Dark Horse has chosen the Hivemind as it’s construct.

Matt Brockwell will be sharing his method this Sat which radically takes a different approach by being “block-based” (not to mention more visually appealing w his CSS magic!)

Let’s be sure to ping Matt once we get a good handle on his book map method & inquire how he envisions information flow between Roam & Discourse.

the “book map” is the knowledge object (what is the root “wiki” object)

he probably has a vision for how conversation ensues around each core idea (aka proposition)

he also cares about things being finite (which will balance the “infinite game” of maintaining a knowledge object & whatever is connected to it - the realm Naomi is better rooted in)

and as it relates to OKR - book clubs that are successful causing actual results/outcomes in people’s lives are the ones I think will be the most meaningful.

I am very curious about how companies that embrace the Business Model You in their organizations pan out.

I am still grieving the loss of many platforms (eg bmfiddle) that had so much potential to network models together.

I have direct experience with the challenge of managing conversation around a personal business model.

I’ve prototyped some in Notion but it’s commenting structure is not conducive to the kind of conversation one would have in person in front of a poster.

ok, I’m going to stop here as I feel we are in “customer discovery” mode - let’s see what kind of difference we can make with Matt - he has gone astray enough from RBC to make it interesting!

I feel it would be valuable for us to work in front of a business model canvas quite soon. (I just put up a pair on my wall since Sunday!)

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Alright, I’m shortening the time down to a month for reply :smile:

I absolutely do. Voice/audio is much harder to do anything automated to, extract meaning from, etc. There are tools, but they’re largely not free, or limited in some way. Obviously someone can just listen back through audio/video and make notes in real time on what they think, but that’s very different than e.g. quoting someone as we can easily do here in Discourse. Not to mention copying content (via common markdown), etc., which is much more difficult and limited with audio/video. Or maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean?

Is this worth following-up on at this point, now that these RBCs have mostly run their course?

Can you elaborate on this with some more specific challenges or concerns?

I’m not certain this is the best place for this, but I came across some incredibly interesting and I think potentially insightful writing from Rob Haisfield and Joel Chan (and others), I know you’re familiar with Joel and I assume Rob as well. They collaborated with others on an entire site,, which seems quite related to our overall discussion and explorations here and throughout our various conversations together.

Have a look, let me know what you think, I’ll wait to comment further until we’re both synced on this:

Btw, they both refer to a concept of a “discourse graph”, unfortunately causing term confusion with our own discussion of Discourse (the forum platform). But hopefully the “graph” part won’t get lost in our discussion of the former, and a capital D Discourse can help distinguish the latter…