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.
Anchored by numerous examples (including many samples of successful requirements), the book provides an appealing mix of new ideas along with a remarkably clear presentation. In short, Mastering the Requirements Process provides useful advice that can make the project specification building phase of the software process easier and more robust. It provides the first steps for improving overall software quality for your organization. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: Volere Requirements Process Model; project blastoff; determining requirements; user and stakeholders; project constraints; requirements constraints; use cases; business events; adjacent systems; innovation; trawling for requirements: apprenticing, interviews, and videotape; functional and nonfunctional requirements; fit criteria; quality gateways; traceability; prototyping and scenarios; low and high fidelity prototypes; patterns and requirements reuse; improving the requirements gathering process.
Delivering the software that your customer really wants. "Mastering the Requirements Process and the Volere specification template are real breakthroughs. They introduce the beginnings of science to a domain which had, up till now, been ruled by craft." - Tom DeMarco It is widely recognized that incorrect requirements account for up to 60% of errors in software products, and yet the majority of software development organizations do not have a formal requirements process. Many organizations appear willing to spend huge amounts on fixing and altering badly-specified software, but seem unwilling to invest a much smaller amount to get the requirements right in the first place. This is a book for those who want to get the right requirements. Mastering the Requirements Process sets out an industry-tested process for gathering and verifying requirements. It provides the techniques and insights for discovering precisely what the customer wants and needs. "Mastering the Requirements Process shows, step by step, template by template, example by example, one well-tested way to assemble a complete, comprehensive requirements process."
- Jerry Weinberg The specification template in this book provides the basis for your own requirements specifications. It guides you to the correct specification content as each part of the process reveals different aspects of the products functionality and properties. This book shows you how to make the requirement measurable and testable. By providing a measurement - a fit criterion - for each requirement, the requirements analyst can describe precisely what the customer wants, the designer can construct a product that exactly matches the requirement, and the tester can determine whether or not the final solution satisfies the requirement. "The Robertsons' concept of fit criteria is -- all by itself -- worth the investment of your time to read the whole book. Fit criteria and the allied discipline of quality gateways enable you to build requirement sets that are measurable, provably correct and testibly complete." - Tom DeMarco