Cutting Teeth, Software Projects, The First Two Weeks

A few questions came up recently that I wanted to answer, but before I answered I wanted to post them to see what others might think.

  1. What are the most basic concepts of the application story needed to get started?
  2. What should be assumed to be complete based on that after 1 week?
  3. After 2 weeks are up, what could or should be delivered for a MVP (Minimally Viable Product)?

Ideally speaking development wouldn’t start until one has done a few paper prototyping sessions and written up a number of user stories.  Often though just a minimal amount of things actually need to be known.  My immediate answer to, “what is the most basic concepts of the application story needed to get started?” would be,

A simple story around the core prospective user of the application.

An example would be a story along these lines.  Since I’m the user in this case, I’ll use “I” instead of “the user”.

I would like to access the application from anywhere in the world.  I would like to have secure storage of my writing.  I would be able to add writings to this storage.  I would be able to delete writings from this storage.

That seems to be enough to build an extremely basic thing to store writings.  Should someone need more than that to start creating something?  Should someone be able to create a full fledged application?  Sure, but without more work sessions and further stories to expand on the idea, I wouldn’t expect it to be what I was envisioning.  I would simply expect something to be scratched out that we could start to work with.  Something that would create, expand, and provide a better base of ideas in which to work with.

That’s the basis for this blog entry, what would you expect after one week and two weeks?  Think of the ideal circumstances, with continual involvement with the developer and the customer.  The developer being very familiar with the tools they’re using and the customer being very familiar with their particular business domain.

Thoughts?  One week and two weeks.  I’d like to see others’ thoughts on the matter.