Secrets of Successful Software Requirements

Secrets of Successful Software Requirements

Although most companies do some form of requirements, there is often a lack of understanding as to exactly why the requirements need to be created and the level of detail that should be included in the requirements.

Software is always created to solve a need for a client. The client may be an internal client, an external client, or even the general public. Detailed requirements are important to ensure that a program correctly and fully addresses client’s needs.

Detailed requirements make initial development easier and faster because the developers know exactly what should be developed and do not need to make their best guess at the functionality to be implemented or delay development by creating requirements during development. Giving the developers accurate requirements will also result in less rework at the end of development because the stakeholder’s requirements will have been implemented correctly initially and will not be arrived at through trial and error.

A project manager can use the detailed requirements to create accurate timelines and give correct estimates to the client. This ensures that stakeholders are completely aware how long development will take so they can adjust the scope of a project or proactively add resources if necessary.

Finally, testers can use the requirements to create test plans while development is ongoing rather than waiting until development is complete. The requirements give them information about what the program will do so there cannot be disputes between developers and testers as to what the program functionality should be. High quality requirements also describe problem paths that may need additional testing.

Even though highly detailed requirements make development easier in future phases, this is not always possible due to time constraints imposed by the client or market conditions. With this in mind, let’s look at some secrets to improve your requirements process even under tight deadlines.

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“Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves” - Alan Kay