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Discovering Requirements: How to Specify Products and Services (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 23. März 2009

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"Discovering Requirements" uses a set of simple, robust, and effective cognitive tools for building requirements. This book shows with worked examples how to build up an understanding of any problem. Other features include stakeholder analysis, goal modeling, context modeling, storytelling and scenario modeling, identifying risks and threats, describing rationales, defining terms in a project dictionary, and prioritizing using a complementary set of techniques. Chapters stand alone, with cross-references to topics in other chapters. Each includes tips providing brief and relevant guidance on putting techniques into practice.


"This book is not only of practical value. It's also a lot of fun to read." Michael Jackson, The Open University.
Do you need to know how to create good requirements?
Discovering Requirements offers a set of simple, robust, and effective cognitive tools for building requirements. Using worked examples throughout the text, it shows you how to develop an understanding of any problem, leading to questions such as:
* What are you trying to achieve?
* Who is involved, and how?
* What do those people want? Do they agree?
* How do you envisage this working?
* What could go wrong?
* Why are you making these decisions? What are you assuming?
The established author team of Ian Alexander and Ljerka Beus-Dukic answer these and related questions, using a set of complementary techniques, including stakeholder analysis, goal modelling, context modelling, storytelling and scenario modelling, identifying risks and threats, describing rationales, defining terms in a project dictionary, and prioritizing.
This easy to read guide is full of carefully-checked tips and tricks. Illustrated with worked examples, checklists, summaries, keywords and exercises, this book will encourage you to move closer to the real problems you're trying to solve. Guest boxes from other experts give you additional hints for your projects.
Invaluable for anyone specifying requirements including IT practitioners, engineers, developers, business analysts, test engineers, configuration managers, quality engineers and project managers.
A practical sourcebook for lecturers as well as students studying software engineering who want to learn about requirements work in industry.
Once you've read this book you will be ready to create good requirements!

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7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great book, both easy and fun to read and still with lots of details 13. Juni 2009
Von Joy Beatty - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Ian Alexander and Ljerka Beus-Dukic have done a wonderful job with this book. I have not found any other books so far that are focused solely on the discovery phase of the systems and software requirements process and consequently no others cover the topic in so much depth. They really just have exactly the right amount of details in order to understand and start using the concepts covered. It's a book that is well designed for beginners in requirements who want to understand how to elicit requirements, but it is also full of useful ideas for the more experienced requirements practitioners. They cover most of the possible requirements elicitation techniques with suggestions on how to use them, as well as situational contexts in which you would need to elicit requirements.

I like the overall organization of the book, as it is laid out in a very logical manner making it easy to follow. In general it is very easy to read as well. While maintaining a professional tone, they have made it quite enjoyable to read. There are many stories (project specific and fun ones!) to put the concepts in context and to me, those make the book. And if you complete the exercises they have included in each chapter, you can ensure you really grasp the concepts. What I like about the practice exercises is that the answers are not simply "right or wrong" but include a discussion about them each.

Finally I'll comment that this book is extremely practical for someone in industry trying to improve at discovering requirements. The authors have used real-world experiences to build out the ideas written about and as you read it, you can't help but understand how you'd do the same things on your projects. This is one of the best requirements books I have read - both in content and ease of reading!
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Simple, practical, thorough 4. Januar 2010
Von Johanne Greenwood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a straightforward and engaging piece of work focused on the soft side of requirements. Don't come here looking for a technical treatise on requirements management tools, but do buy this book if you need a clear overview of how to arrive at the requirements to manage.

I found it very well organized. There are dedictaed chapters on types / levels of requirements from stakeholder identification through goals, scenarios and constraints, followed with clear examples of how to explore and document those requirements, and techniques for use with individuals, groups and other systems.

Of necessity, in this kind of broad treatise your challenge will be to select the tools and techniques to use among the many that are presented, but with this book you will have no shortage of ideas.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
"Ten Small Steps to Better Requirements" ... now given the full treatment 16. November 2009
Von O. Gotel - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
If you pick up a book authored by Ian Alexander, you will not be disappointed. Alexander has a way of cutting through all the engineering hyperbole and getting to the heart of what really matters for practitioners when it comes to requirements engineering. His latest offering, "Discovering Requirements", co-authored with Ljerka Beus-Dukic, is no exception. It actually appears to be a very welcome and expanded version of Alexander's popular column article: "Ten Small Steps to Better Requirements" (IEEE Software, Volume 23, Number 2, Pages 19-21, March/April, 2006).

"Discovering Requirements" is split into two parts. Part 1 examines the different elements that you need to think about as part of any requirements engineering process. The authors suggest that these elements are: stakeholders, goals, context, interfaces, scope, scenarios, qualities, constraints, rationale, assumptions, definitions, measurements and priorities. Pragmatic techniques and numerous heuristics are provided, chapter by chapter, to help you discover each of these requirements elements on a project. The material is augmented by the effective use of "Guest Boxes", which offer related advice from other respected practitioners in the field. Chapter 2 is noteworthy as it stands out as one of the most readable overviews to the critical topic of stakeholder identification and analysis. Personally, I have been using Alexander's very simple "Onion Model" for some time now, and I can certainly recommend this as a fine way to discover hidden stakeholders and get your requirements engineering efforts off to a good start.

Part 2 of "Discovering Requirements" changes perspective somewhat and explores the various contexts in which these requirements elements can be discovered. The first three chapters describe the pros and cons of different discovery approaches that work with individuals, groups and things (i.e., other artifacts), respectively. Chapter 14 is yet another gem. As requirements engineers, we are always in the business of negotiating trade-offs between the wants and needs of multiple stakeholders as we explore potential design options. The authors provide a catalog of very practical methods to help you through this delicate "Optioneering" process.

Throughout the entire text, the authors are careful to emphasize that they are not offering a prescription for discovering requirements. They discuss what they consider to be the essential requirements elements, and the various ways in which they can be discovered, but they demand that their readers think carefully when putting together "the simplest process that works for you". Rather than leave the reader to join the dots for themselves however, as many texts do, the final chapter offers some guidelines as to how to do this and provides some small case studies.

"Discovering Requirements" is an attractive addition to any requirements engineering bookshelf, and I recommend it for any practitioner or student who is trying to give some structure to what may initially appear to be an ad-hoc task. Given its accessibility, it is a text that you WILL take off your bookshelf, and you will probably dip into it regularly for guidance, hints and tips. While "Discovering Requirements" does not claim to provide all the tools you need to engineer your requirements fully on a project, it is pretty exhaustive in what you need to do and what you need to think about in their initial discovery. Let us hope that Alexander and Beus-Dukic's next text demystifies the principles and practices of requirements management just as painlessly.
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