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Product Definition and Validation

Product Definition and Validation (PDV) is a semester-long course during which students:

  • identify a business problem that can be addressed (in part) by software technology
  • elicit and model user and customer requirements
  • develop a vision for a new product or service that addresses the problem, including both the software system that is the central focus of product development and the “whole product” required to provide a complete solution to address the customer’s problem
  • develop a business vision of how the product will contribute to achieving the goals of the company considering its development
  • document the vision in a product vision document
  • produce a document and presentation describing the features and requirements, both functional and non-functional, for their envisioned product.

The course work includes applying a variety of requirements elicitation and analysis techniques, writing reports, and preparing supporting material – all while working as a member of a high-performing team.  The course covers much of the same material as the mini-length Software Product Definition (49-787) and Requirements Analysis courses (49-788) courses, but with less depth of coverage.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn to identify problems for which a solution would be beneficial to a significant number of people
  • Students will be able to use contextual inquiry and work modeling techniques from Contextual Design to understand organizational culture, information flows, work sequences, and problems therein
  • Students will be able to define and apply personas, goals, and scenarios to envision a high-quality user experience with a proposed new system
  • Students will be able to derive key functional, data, technical, and business requirements from scenarios
  • Students will be able to define the whole product required to provide a complete solution, systematically, from a customer’s point of view
  • Students will be able to define a business vision that explains how product development will contribute to achieving the goals of the customers and end users.
  • Students will be able to write clear and compelling product development artifacts
  • Students will be able to interact persuasively with management to “sell” their ideas.

The course syllabus is attached to this page.

PDF icon PDV Fall 2016 Course Syllabus59.92 KB