Written in an engaging style and relevant for any software analyst or designer, Mastering the Requirements Process provides a powerful and useful guide to defining more complete software requirements that lead to better software overall. It's also filled with innovative advice.
The heart of this book is the authors' Volere Requirements Process Model, a step-by-step guide to gathering your requisites. Throughout this book, the authors use this process to explicate a single case study--a system for a municipality that will optimize the de-icing of roadways during snowy weather. Along the way, the book provides a solid guide to identifying and refining requirements, both functional and nonfunctional (such as performance and ease of use).
There are many excellent ideas in the book, including the notion of fitness for your requirements, which can be later used to track whether the software is successful. The book also wisely separates technology from requirements so that analysts can concentrate on understanding and modeling business problems instead of moving right away to the nuts and bolts of implementation.
Even if you don't adopt the Volere model in toto, you can benefit from the concepts of "trawling" (a metaphor for the requirements-gathering process), quality gateways (in which tentative requirements are evaluated for inclusion in a project), and the wise use of patterns to help simplify the process.
Review By: Harry L. Kirkpatrick 05/23/2007
This edition of the book is a timely update from the first version, which was published in 1999. The greatest change to come along since the first edition was the arrival of agile methods, accompanied by some wonderful technological advances such as blogs and wikis. Blogs and wikis mean that requirements analysts can gather their requirements informally and iteratively using the convenience of networking with their stakeholders.
The authors' Volere Requirements Process Model, a step-by-step guide to gathering your requisites, is the very essence of this book. The book is well-structured and easy to read. There are tons of excellent ideas in the book, which you can apply immediately. Features include:
The Volere requirements process—completely specified, and revised for compatibility with agile environments
A specification template that can be used as the basis for your own requirements specifications
New agility ratings that help you funnel your efforts into only the requirements work needed for your particular development environment and project
Checklists to help identify stakeholders, users, nonfunctional requirements, and more
How to make requirements testable using fit criteria
Details on gathering and implementing requirements for iterative releases
Examples showing how the techniques and templates are applied in real-¬world situations
Strategies for exploiting use cases to determine the best product to build
Methods for reusing requirements and requirements patterns
The book shows—step by step, template by template, example by example—one well-¬tested way to assemble a complete and comprehensive requirements process. The authors base the book on the many seminars they have given and the countless companies they have helped over the years.