Sunday, July 05, 2015

What is a requirement? Well, what kind?

From discussion on linkedin

"What are requirements"

My comment:

A lot of comments already, have not read all of them, but i think the question is too wide. We need some adjectives in front of "requirement". I don't necessarily like all of them myself, but I offer up the ones I hear most: business, process, functional, non-functional , solution, system, even testing. 
I think what most comments here are speaking to is the functional requirement. While precise wording can vary, I hold that the definition must emphasize the concept of "what, not how". I like Jose Santos version, but would shorten it to "A software requirement describes what a software should do but not how to do it, and it satisfies a need." I also like where commentators use the term "future". Certainly a requirement stated now implies a future state where it is met, but it is good to state/think it instead of assuming the implication.

David Wright


Roger Cauvin said...

My definition of "requirement" is:

"The least stringent condition that must hold to solve or avoid a prospect problem (problem that a prospective customer faces)."

In 2006, I put together this conceptual model of the requirements concepts that explains and gives context to the definition.

David Wright said...

I believe I recall seeing this... still looks good.

Given the rise of more requirements management tools since then, this is certainly a good meta-model for evaluating them.

About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.