Expectations Engineering

- and the road through Whitebox Expectations

If you understand this classic joke, you get the point!

Lots of love and credit to the creator of this.

Whitebox Expectations is about to spoil this great joke. We are very sorry, but it’s for all the best reasons. 

Whitebox Expectations is a holistic approach to generate the best input to the solution. We have packed the best from requirements engineering, testing, risks and configuration management, to ensure that the evolvement of expectations to the solution is optimised to serve all stakeholders involved . 

We have done that, because interviews with 10.000+ development professionals has made it painfully clear to us, that the current way of communicating between all stakeholders has failed. Despite the fact, that many good methods has been proposed. 


Some of the most important learnings leading to Whitebox Expectations 

In our 30 years of experience, we have seen:

That different roles need different competences. Thats why Whitebox Expectations is role based competence development

No one size fits all! That’s why Whitebox Expectations is driven by the benefit you will achieve and then enabling you to make the best choice of methods and practices

When information is spread around, it is not used! That’s why Whitebox Expectations introduce a corporate memory

– A common framework for understanding is required! That’s why Whitebox Expectations is a holistic approach across classic disciplines with a strict defined terminology

– Splitting up the responsibilities in requirements, risk and test destroys the “flow”! That’s why Whitebox Expectations support the “flow” (from e.g. a need is expressed and until it is validated that the solutions is supporting it)

– The Product Owner have to be superman! That’s why Whitebox Expectations is a corporate competence

The Scope of Expectations Engineering

Whitebox Expectations covers some disciplines that unfortunately has been managed rather separate. This short video explains, how Whitebox Expectations combines Requirements, Risks and Testing in one coherent efficient practice.

Expectation Engineering disciplins

Why did the industry fail to manage all the stakeholders expectations?

While Whitebox Expectations claims to solve a problem that all have experienced, we better be sure of the reason why it was not solved before!

Short answer: Underestimated complexity!

Communicating needs and requirements are surprisingly difficult – even between the stakeholders. 

Everyone feel that their perspective is obvious. 
No-one feels really understood.

Root cause: Misunderstandings, small but many.

Add to this:

  • There are many stakeholders
  • They have very different background
  • They have different motivations 
  • The key stakeholders are those that are the least “accessible“
  • New Technology opportunities appears fast
  • Sometimes faster than a project can react to them
  • Tools to support the communication has been very poor

Suddenly it seems reasonably to believe that poor communication on a very complex matter is constantly leading to misunderstandings that jeopardize development projects. 

Failed strategies: Individual training in isolated disciplines. 

The last 3 decades we have seen a lot of effort going to test/risk/requirements training to individuals, but it has hardly improved the industry’s performance. The market for these individual trainings is declining for good reasons, – because it is a teams game. The sports analogy is appropriate.  Even the best trained individuals cannot make up for a poor team performance and if they on top of it all are to narrow specialized, no one should expect a high performing team.

“Expectations” is covering the three steps to corporate competence

  1: Training of all the basic competences required

 2:  Design of the company specific practice and design of tool support

 3: The company specific training to individuals. 

Whitebox Expectations is a holistic approach to requirements engineering, testing, risk management and configuration management, called Expectations Engineering.  Holistic, because the synergy that occurs when they are performed as one, are so much bigger than when performed as individual disciplines.

Expectations Engineering is how we should respect the complexity, handle it, avoid the misunderstandings. With teams that are trained expectations engineers you can ambitiously go for the business opportunities, and expect reliable results. Better products, faster.