It Is Still The Requirements

Getting Software Requirements Right
  • examine requirements readiness


  • discuss proposed requirements in detail
  • discuss operational scenarios
  • identify issues and errors
  • correct, resolve, rewrite


  • evaluate risks and benefits
  • decide on resource expenditures
  • establish a requirements baseline

Figure 1: The Requirements Definition Process

Deliver Systems That Meet Requirements
Given the difficulty of requirements definition, expend the time and effort needed to ensure that the systems you implement do, in fact, meet the true customer requirements. Employing the six step method that I have described in this article, your efforts can yield complete, consistent requirements for systems that meet or exceed the expectations of your customers--the first time and every time.

Further Reading

  • Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute (1995), The Capability Maturity Model , Addison Wesley, Reading, MA.
  • Davis, Alan M., Achieving Quality In Software Requirements , Software Quality Professional, June 1999, ASQ, Milwaukee.
  • Gause, Donald C. and Weinberg, Gerald M. (1989), Exploring Requirements, Quality Before Design , Dorset House, New York.
  • Robertson, Suzanne and Robertson, James (1999), Mastering the Requirements Process , Addison Wesley, Harlow, England.
  • Weinberg, Gerald M. (1982). Rethinking Systems Analysis and Design , Little, Brown and Company, Boston.
  • Yourdon, Ed, "Write Stuff For Users," Computerworld, November 20, 2000.

About the author

James A. Ward's picture James A. Ward

James A. Ward is a management consultant specializing in project management, PMO implementation, interim IT management, implementation of quality, and process improvement initiatives in IT organizations. He offers seminars and workshops in project management, quality improvement, requirements definition, risk management, and Microsoft Project.

James is a PMP certified project manager. He resides in Richmond, Virginia, and can be reached at (804) 303-4755 or via e-mail at Further information is available on his web site at

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