ScopeMaster®-Review

Product Name: ScopeMaster®

Product Provider: ScopeMaster

Product Category: Information Technology & Services; Project Management, Product Development

Product Purpose: Reduce time and effort in agile development and minimise failed or delayed work via improving quality of expressions of needs, requirements and stories for design and implementation

Product Overview

This is a new product on the market that has been met with high enthusiasm and expectations for its progress and applicability to much more development areas than software development. The product can perform several tasks already, including estimate size and quality of the tasks/requirement/stories against ambiguities, complexities, omissions, duplicates, inconsistencies and completeness. The product is customisable for particular development context and business domain, and offers quantitative metrics on the content of the tasks/requirement/stories. The product is equally effective in different development organisation methods including iterative-incremental/RUP, Agile (Scrum), SAFe and others. At the time of writing this review, the product provides its functionality for functional tasks/requirement/stories only; a support for non-functional tasks/requirement is in the product roadmap.

The ScopeMaster® uses sophisticated layers of language analysis techniques. It generates comprehensive reports of potential found defects, suggestions for improvements and estimates of functional size, development effort and costs. The product can be used by several people at the same time if the work is organised in the non-overlapping operations on the same data. The ScopeMaster® is a SaaS application and available everywhere where SaaS can be reached from. The ScopeMaster® represents a gigantic step forward from IFPUG FP and COSMIC function points; it is designed for agile development from the day one.

It is recommended for using by Architects, Business Analysts, QA leads and Product Owners.

A single functional requirement (User Story) can have multiple functional processes (steps), which are necessary to deliver the requirement.  Typically a User Story has 1-3 functional steps, rarely more than 5. All steps are considered in the analysis in their integrity.

The ScopeMaster® removes ambiguity from the User Stories, which triggers a dual reaction. Many developers appreciate this clarity. At the same time, significant number of developers and, especially, DevOps and business stakeholders, resist this Product. Some of possible reasons for this denial are:

  • Such tool is taken as an intervention into internal independency of development teams
  • Some developers believe that the clarity of User Stories eliminates a human factor and can restrict freedom of developer creativity despite this ‘creativity’ and ‘freedom’ may be not wanted by the stakeholders (developers are supposed to produce what they are hired for)
  • Business stakeholders are afraid that such unconditional and anonymous analysis of their demands can uncover inconsistency in the demands and this can hit reputations of the requesters

Product Components

Major components – Core Analysis Engine, UI, storage.

Major Product Features

The product

  1. reads the requirement or User Stories from the text file
  2. detects the functional intent
  3. finds potential defects
  4. recommends improvements
  5. correlates with other requirements
  6. estimates functional size
  7. generates functional test scripts.

It is recommended using ScopeMaster® in conjunction with repositories of the  programme/project User Story Backlog and then take the analysis outcome into a backlog refinement meeting.

Source of Data

The ScopeMaster® has an inbuilt synchronisation with the following SaaS systems:

1.            Microsoft Azure Agile DevOps

2.            Jira Cloud

3.            Pivotal Tracker

It also has RESTful API that allows for the same level of synchronisation with other User Story or requirement sources, on-premises or remote repositories.

Product Pros

  1. Provides better quality user stories / requirements
  2. Provides better documentation
  3. Makes  requirements meetings more productive
  4. Reduces scope creep
  5. Results in fewer change requests
  6. Helps to reduce rework caused by inconsistency and gaps in requirements
  7. Leads to more accurate cost and schedule estimates for your software development projects
  8. Makes shorter delivery schedule.

The tasks that the product helps to effectively resolve:

  • Long testing periods
  • Poor quality requirements
  • Scope creep
  • Poor development estimates
  • Late discovery of requirements
  • Failed Software Projects.

Based on given User Stories, Product can automatically generate test scenarios in sense of what to test and how the entity can be also used at the level of analogous functionality. For example, if a full set of User Stories demands the creation of an entity only, the ScopeMaster® will point to the absence of removal and/or modification of this entity.

The Product generates many negative tests for functionality and data the latter uses.

The ScopeMaster® considers the integrity of statements in their contexts resulting in more unique conclusions.  The context allows outlining not only the personal data (GDPR), but also its contextual interpretation and then highlights potential GDPR risks within the User Stories. Performance of the User Story processing is high and in stress-tests never exceeded 10 seconds per story.

Overall, clarity of the processed User Stories reduces the probability of design and programming errors and related redevelopment. This can be a significant factor for saving development funds.

Product Cons

  1. The best value of the product can be gained when the requirements or User Stories are known together, up-front. In this case, their logic, integrity and consistency can be analysed with the maximum sustainability. However, this contradicts usual practice of Agile development where the requirements or User Stories are collected as development goes, not up-front.
  2. The product does not address non-functional requirement (NFR) and, therefore, the potential impact of NFR on the required functionality. The same is applied for the other way around.
  3. If a business task is complex enough to be realised via more than one Agile Sprint, the efficiency of applying the ScopeMaster® decreases if special operational method is not used. This algorithm is in publishing now.
  4. If a company has a business task that cannot be realised by a single Agile Team, the engaged Teams are asked to work in parallel with some overlapping in time. In such cases, the company usually creates an overall blueprint, which allows coordinating the work of separate Teams. This can be used for an advantage of the ScopeMaster® making it applicable at the blueprint level first and then refining the analysis results for each though this contradicts the Agile Team practice.
  5. At the moment, the product does not support any requirements higher than User Stories like Epics, and does not provide validation of compliance with known regulations. The ScopeMaster® cannot come-up with testing or controls for the purpose of security; this has to be articulated in the requirements explicitly. 
  6. The user may not configure the rules for the Core Analysis Engine to classify found discrepancies whether they are acceptable or “severe”, which can catch the user’s attentions for the further improvements.

Recommendations

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ScoreFrom 1.0To 3.0From 3.1To 4.0From 4.1To 5.0

Overall Score:  4.3

Our History

Current version of the product can be bought from the ScopeMaster® https://www.scopemaster.com/pricing/. You only pay for what you use.  Buy bundles of credits as and when you need them to analyse your user stories.  Credits are shared across the users throughout an organisation. Different bundles can be combined. Bundles expire after 12 months. Different bundles may be combined

License Model

The licences are based on consumption (a user story analysed) as shown in the table below.  

Trial BundleStartup BundleProject BundleProgramme BundlePortfolio Bundle
100
user stories
500
user stories
2k
user stories
7k
user stories
30k
user stories
1 userup to 3 usersup to 10 usersup to 50 usersup to 150 users
Free Trial is availableEquivalent work done by ScopeMaster®: $125kEquivalent work done by ScopeMaster®: $500kEquivalent work done by ScopeMaster®: $2.5mEquivalent work done by ScopeMaster®: $7.5m
Price – contact the sailor. First 100 stories may be FREEPrice – contact the sailor.Price – contact the sailor.Price – contact the sailor.Price – contact the sailor.

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