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Effective Requirements Practices / Edition 1

Effective Requirements Practices / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Ralph R. Young

ISBN-10: 0201709120

ISBN-13: 9780201709124

Pub. Date: 03/22/2001

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

"Ralph Young has written an excellent guide for those who must understand and manage their customer's requirements. And that means just about everyone in the systems and software world." --Roger Pressman

Requirements analysis and management is finally receiving the attention it deserves as a key factor in the success of systems and software development


"Ralph Young has written an excellent guide for those who must understand and manage their customer's requirements. And that means just about everyone in the systems and software world." --Roger Pressman

Requirements analysis and management is finally receiving the attention it deserves as a key factor in the success of systems and software development projects.

And with this new attention comes a pragmatic guide to proven industry practices for emerging and fulfilling customer requirements. More than just an idealized view of the topic, Effective Requirements Practices addresses both managerial and technical issues that determine the success--or failure--of a project. The requirements practices described in this book enable you to redirect resources to satisfy customers' real business needs. Together, these practices provide a proven framework and process that help keep projects on the right track and ensure that requirements are addressed properly throughout a project's life cycle.

This book demonstrates proven methods and techniques. Topics covered include

  • Strategies and methods for getting to the "real" customer requirements
  • Developing and improving a requirements process
  • The roles and responsibilities of the Joint Team for requirements elicitation
  • Designing system requirements with the system architecture in mind
  • Maintaining effective communication among team members
  • Maintaining a set of work products
  • Requirements verification and validation
  • Accommodating changes in requirements throughout the project
  • How the recommended requirements practices utilize the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) framework
  • Achieving an environment of continuous improvement and mutual support of one another

Also provided is a sample process that has been used in industry and deployed and tailored on dozens of projects. In addition, Effective Requirements Practices offers you recommendations for incorporating industry best practices into the development effort.

You will come away from this book well equipped to better satisfy your customers' needs.


Product Details

Publication date:
Addison-Wesley Information Technology Series
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figuresxvii
Part IBackground1
Chapter 1Introduction3
The State of the Industry Today3
The Need to Use Effective Requirements Practices6
The Requirements Process7
What Is a Process?7
What Is the Requirements Process?9
Benefits of a Process Approach11
Pitfalls of Using a Process Approach12
About This Book14
Key Terms14
A Requirements Taxonomy16
Systems and Software Engineers17
Intended Audience17
Recommended Mind-set for Readers of This Book18
The "Team," the "Project," and the "Project Manager"18
Footnotes in This Book19
Key References and Suggested Readings19
Upcoming Topics19
Key References and Suggested Readings20
Part IIRecommended Requirements Practices25
Chapter 2Commit to the Approach27
What Do We Mean by Commitment?28
How Can Commitment Be Attained and Maintained?30
Recommendations to Assist in Evolving the Partnering Approach37
Involve Managers with Authority in the Partnering Workshop38
Develop a Requirements Plan38
Utilize a Set of Mechanisms, Methods, Techniques, and Tools40
Work Toward a Quality Culture40
Key References and Suggested Readings42
Chapter 3Establish and Utilize A Joint Team Responsible for the Requirements45
What Is a "Joint Team"?46
What Does the Joint Team Do?47
How Is the Joint Team Created?48
Who Should Be on the Joint Team?48
How Often Should the Joint Team Meet?49
What Metrics Need to Be Created and Tracked?49
Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) from Using Effective Requirements Practices50
Customer and Supplier Roles50
Key References and Suggested Readings54
Chapter 4Define the Real Customer Needs57
Recommendations to Facilitate Getting to the Real Requirements59
Invest More in the Requirements Process60
Train PMs to Pay More Attention to the Requirements Process62
Identify a Project Champion63
Define the Project Vision and Scope64
Identify a Requirements Engineer and Utilize Domain Experts to Perform Requirements Engineering Tasks65
Train Developers Not to Make Requirements Decisions and Not to Gold Plate74
Utilize a Variety of Techniques to Elicit Customer and User Requirements and Expectations74
Use Cases75
Train Requirements Engineers to Write Good Requirements79
The Impact of Requirements Errors79
The Importance of Requirements to Program Costs80
What Is a Good Requirement?82
Document the Rationale for Each Requirement84
Utilize Methods and Automated Tools to Analyze, Prioritize, and Track Requirements85
Approaches, Tools, and Methods for Prioritizing Requirements87
Collect Requirements from Multiple Viewpoints89
Consider the Use of Formal Methods When Appropriate90
Key References and Suggested Readings92
Chapter 5Use and Continually Improve a Requirements Process97
What Is a Process?98
How Is a Process Designed?99
Why Is a Requirements Process Needed?103
Goals of Requirements Engineers107
A Sample Requirements Process110
How Can Organizations Create or Tailor a Requirements Process?122
Tailoring of Processes123
Web Support: An Organizational Process Asset Library124
Key References and Suggested Readings125
Chapter 6Iterate the System Requirements and Architecture Repeatedly131
The System Engineering Process132
Consider the "Designability" of the System When Addressing the Requirements134
Allocate Requirements to Functional Partitions, Objects, People, or Support Elements to Support Synthesis of Solutions136
Utilize a System Architecture Process136
Consider Open Systems Standards146
Guidelines for "Architecting"151
Another View153
Key References and Suggested Readings154
Chapter 7Use a Mechanism to Maintain Project Communication159
Setting the Stage160
Natural Human Tendency160
A Proactive Approach to Achieve Effective Communication161
An Example Mechanism162
When Negativism Shows Up164
Another Valuable Mechanism--Brown Bags165
Guidelines for Effective Meetings165
Guidelines for Effective E-mail Communication167
The Value of a Common Vocabulary172
The Use of Vertical Experts173
Avoid Multiple Locations174
A Final Recommendation174
Key References and Suggested Readings175
Chapter 8Select Familiar Methods and Maintain a Set of Work Products179
The Foundation for System Development180
What Are the Candidate Methods and Techniques?180
Which Methods and Techniques Are Best?182
Use of Function Points for Software Estimation189
Quality Function Deployment190
What Comprises the Requirements Specification?192
The Rationale for Prioritizing Requirements193
Key References and Suggested Readings196
Chapter 9Perform Requirements Verification and Validation201
V&V Terminology202
The Importance of V&V203
V&V Planning203
Verification Methods207
V&V Techniques208
Using Traceability to Support Verification208
A Structured Approach to Testing210
Key References and Suggested Readings214
Chapter 10Provide an Effective Mechanism to Accommodate Requirements Changes217
Why Such Emphasis?218
Planning for Changes in Requirements219
The Recommended Mechanism221
Requirements Leakage221
Focus on What Counts!224
How Much Can Requirements Change?224
A Way to Deal with Requirements Creep Contractually225
Other Recommendations227
Key References and Suggested Readings229
Chapter 11Perform the Development Effort Using Known, Familiar Proven Industry, Organizational, and Project Best Practices231
What's All the Fuss?233
What Can We Do About It?234
Provide to the Development Team an Understanding of the Relevant Policies, Processes, and Procedures to Be Used235
Utilize a Practical, Effective Project Management Approach235
Ensure That Selected Members of the Development Team Have Domain Knowledge244
Perform the Development Effort Using Known (Trained), Proven Processes, Mechanisms, Methods, Techniques, and Tools244
Provide and Utilize Mechanisms to Foster Effective Communications Throughout the Development Team247
Utilize Peer Reviews and Inspections to Remove Defects from Processes and Work Products248
Ensure That Configuration Management Is Effective250
Foster an Independent QA Role That Proactively Assists and Supports the Development Team and Provides Value to the Project251
Ensure That Subcontractors Are Managed So That Their Contributions Are Effective252
Use Appropriate, Useful Metrics to Manage the Project255
Ensure That a Systematic Approach to Involving the Customer in This Entire Effort Is Working258
Manage Processes Quantitatively. Also, Use a Defect Prevention (DP) Process, a Technology Change Management (TCM) Process, and a Process Change Management (PCM) Process. Perform Extensive Reinsertion and Reuse Throughout the Organization261
Musings on Project Management262
Key References and Suggested Readings266
Part IIIWhat to do Next271
Chapter 12How to Proceed273
Common Issues273
Key Factors in Addressing These Issues275
The Customer275
Requirements as a Key Driver to Any Systems or Software Effort275
Financing Improvements in the Requirements Process275
Survival of the Fittest276
Management Awareness and Expectations276
The Development Team277
Where to Start277
How to Prioritize Needed Efforts284
Relationship of the Recommended Effective Requirements Practices to the CMM289
But I Have So Many Things to Do...291
What If We Are "Further Along" on Our Project?293
Key References and Suggested Readings294
List of Acronyms301
Author Index345
Subject Index349

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