Packing Peanuts

There's this bit in one of the episodes of The West Wing where Jed explains to his wife Abbey that, when choosing prisoners to pardon, they pick a lot of low profile cases to hide, or protect, or insulate, other prisoners who they'd prefer no one else notices. The president calls these low profile cases "Packing Peanuts". 

Customers of traditional software development projects do something similar: they include a lot of low value requirements so that, come descoping time, they can descope them, look unhappy about it, say they've descoped some requirements, but protect their more valuable requirements. 

I never had a name for those requirements until a couple of weeks ago.  Packing peanuts! 

clarke chingComment