ReadySET Pro Product Comparison


The main competition for ReadySET Pro is do-it-yourself solutions, however there are other template sets on the market. There are a few big differences between ReadySET Pro and the others:

  1. ReadySET Pro templates include multiple reusable sample answers that your team "chips away" to fit your project. In contrast, most template sets merely outline the document and provide blue text without giving much guidance on how to actually phrase your text. ReadySET Pro addresses both the software engineering challenges and the simple writing challenges of software development projects. The difference in speed and morale can be as remarkable as the difference between an essay test and a multiple choice test.
  2. ReadySET Pro templates contain questions and sample answers that provoke critical thought about your project decisions. Built-in checklists and tips help catch mistakes early and identify ways to make better decisions, not just better documentation.
  3. ReadySET Pro is optimized to work on the web. In contrast, most other template sets are paper-oriented.
  4. ReadySET Pro is available in two formats: XHTML and MS Office. In contrast, most other template sets offer only MS Office format.
  5. ReadySET Pro is vendor-neutral and process-neutral. It provides a range of reusable material that can be integrated with almost any process and hyperlinked with documents produced by any tool: you don't an entire new suite of tools from one vendor.

"Blue text" is the detailed instructions found in other template sets. Every time you see blue text, it is suggesting more writing work for you, but it does not really help you write it. In contrast, ReadySET Pro has a relatively small number of "TODO" and "TIP" sticky-notes and a much larger amount of reusable sample text that shows you what to write, often allowing you to save time by "chipping away".

"Paper-oriented" template sets are aimed at helping you print documents on paper. For example, some template sets burden each template with tables of contents, document change history, glossaries, or even indexes. Paper-based cross-references can also be difficult. Previous template sets also provide templates for tasks such as tracking defects or change requests. In contrast, ReadySET Pro assumes that your team is already using tools such as web browsers and MS Office that allow easy navigation of hyperlinks, version control systems to keep document change history, and issue tracking tools for defects and change requests. ReadySET Pro templates get right to the point of documenting the decisions that help coordinate your team.

"Chipping away" is the process of simply removing sample text that does not apply to your project. It is usually much faster and easier to chip away than to start from scratch. Try the chipping away demonstration.

Of the alternatives reviewed, the only one that comes close to ReadySET Pro is open source ReadySET. Below, we specificly show how ReadySET Pro is better suited for corporate software development.

Comparison Matrix
ReadySET Pro Do-It-Yourself Free Templates Other Vendors' Template Sets
Scope of templates Complete Pay with your time Fragmented Complete
Content of templates High quality outlines with integrated, reusable sample answers and instructions Pay with your time Often just outlines Outlines with "blue text"
Style of templates Fast, friendly, and to-the-point Up to you Usually more formal More formal
Checklists Built into templates You can only list the things that you already know to look for Usually not Some have separate checklists
Presentation format Modern, clean, web-oriented Up to you Usually paper-oriented Paper-oriented
Customization procedure Simply edit the templates and reuse them. Customization guide included. Up to you Usually just revise the template Some have Special tools: e.g., RUP Builder
Training availble Yes No No Yes
Price $129/user, or less Time (your most limited resource) $0 Much more
ReadySET Pro vs. Open Source ReadySET

The general advantages of ReadySET Pro are:

  • ReadySET Pro is aimed at serious corporate users, whereas the open source templates are aimed more at students and hobbists.
  • ReadySET Pro is available in formats that your entire team can use: XHTML and MS Office. The open source templates are XHTML only.
  • ReadySET Pro contains improved sample text, better built-in checklists, and additional core templates for corporate stakeholders.

Specific advantages of ReadySET Pro over Open Source ReadySET:

  • New ReadySET Pro reusable sample text describes an e-commerce engine. This replaces the open source samples describing video games and university enrollment systems.
  • ReadySET Pro templates are available in XHTML and MS Office formats, with XML format coming soon.
  • Completely revised Pro risk management template includes visual risk map, better sample risks, and specific suggestions for risk mitigation.
  • ReadySET Pro includes a completely revised UI screen design template. The new template helps organize screens into meaningful UI zones.
  • Completely new Pro template to help document your software development methodology (SDM). This template provides a significant head-start on prioritizing guiding development principles, defining development roles, selecting key practices, and documenting the steps and rules of daily development proceedures.
  • Completely new Pro postmortem report template helps team members reflect on their project experience and recommend constructive process improvements.
  • New template text provides specific prompts for individual paragraphs and bullets. ReadySET Pro provides a whole new level of support for writing new text.
  • Pro product content pages (e.g., the user guide outline) have significantly more reusable sample text. This gives a much faster start on authoring these deliverables.
  • ReadySET Pro templates are better organized with a new project document map on the project overview, and a new document cross-reference page.
  • Improved built-in checklists in ReadySET Pro help catch more errors before they impact the team.
  • Improved Pro SRS includes reusable sample answers for non-functional and environmental requirements.
  • New design patterns section in Pro design template helps new team members understand important patterns in the design.
  • Choice of one or two column use cases and test cases. Using the two column format prompts the author to think through more detailed verification of intermediate system responses.
  • Choice of full test case specifications or more compact "test batteries".
  • Automatic summation of estimates in project work-breakdown structure and project schedule, in both Office and XHTML formats.
  • New templates to help organize status report and review meeting reports. Choice of full reports or much shorter "capsule reports".
  • ReadySET Pro customization guide shows how to add corporate logos and watermarks.
  • ReadySET Pro is more consistent and usable throughout all templates.