I had the distinct pleasure of presenting at Agile2010 with Kevin Fisher of Nationwide Insurance. Our talk was about a sustainable process for discovery that makes it possible for a small “ready” team to mature requirements on a continual basis so that the requirements and specifications are appropriately ready for estimating and building.
Our belief is that you would never let anything out of an iteration that is not done, so you should never let anything into an iteration that is not ready.
At LitheSpeed we have helped teams implement this type of sustainable discovery for some time, and my colleague Arlen gave a similar presentation at Agile 2009, also with Kevin Fisher of Nationwide. This talk gets increasing levels of attention indicating that many teams are struggling with getting requirements and specifications mature enough prior to estimating and building.