Writing Better Requirements
Why do requirements matter? Experience has shown that insufficient attention is paid to requirements. The price paid for this lack of focus and applied practices is systems that don't meet
customer needs; take longer to develop than planned; and cost more than customers are willing to pay.
Are we ready to change? Are you willing to spend some time and effort involved in practical exercises to experience how better requirements should evolve? If yes, commit to digesting the
counsel of two experienced practitioners and to changing current practices to ones that will produce better results.
Alexander and Stevens have described how to identify stakeholders and capture requirements, how to write good requirements, how to structure and organize requirements for system
developers, and how to review requirements informally and formally. They have provided a set of useful references to further support your efforts.
Experience has shown us that investment in the requirements process saves time, money, and effort. Yet, development efforts consistently charge ahead without investing sufficiently in the
requirements process. We are so intent to develop the technical solutions that we are unwilling to take the time and effort to understand and meet the real customer needs.
Gathering requirements is the most critical activity in providing a new system or capability. How many of us are willing to invest the time, effort, and money in identifying the real customer needs
before we start off spending technical resources in developing a system? The pressure to start writing code and produce "working" software is great - accentuated by our managers' quest for
"results" and everyone "being busy!"
Ian Alexander and Richard Stevens are interested in helping you to evolve requirements that meet real customer needs. They have provided an approach that is based on experience and lessons
learned from decades in "the school of practical experience."
Your software and system development efforts and activities will benefit from their advice. Take the time to digest their sage advice and make the effort to respond to the exercises. Apply these
concepts and lessons to your own development efforts.
In short, Ian Alexander and Richard Stevens have provided a practical guide for those who endeavor to satisfy customers.