Software Requirements Essentials: Core Practices for Successful Business Analysis

Software Requirements Essentials: Core Practices for Successful Business Analysis

Software Requirements Essentials: Core Practices for Successful Business Analysis

Software Requirements Essentials: Core Practices for Successful Business Analysis


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20 Best Practices for Developing and Managing Requirements on Any Project

Software Requirements Essentials presents 20 core practices for successful requirements planning, elicitation, analysis, specification, validation, and management. Leading requirements experts Karl Wiegers and Candase Hokanson focus on the practices most likely to deliver superior value for both traditional and agile projects, in any application domain. These core practices help teams understand business problems, engage the right participants, articulate better solutions, improve communication, implement the most valuable functionality in the right sequence, and adapt to change and growth.

Concise and tightly focused, this book offers just enough pragmatic "how-to" detail for you to apply the core practices with confidence, whether you're a business analyst, requirements engineer, product manager, product owner, or developer. Using it, your entire team can build a shared understanding of key concepts, terminology, techniques, and rationales--and work together more effectively on every project.

Learn how to:

  • Clarify problems, define business objectives, and set solution boundaries
  • Identify stakeholders and decision makers
  • Explore user tasks, events, and responses
  • Assess data concepts and relationships
  • Elicit and evaluate quality attributes
  • Analyze requirements and requirement sets, create models and prototypes, and set priorities
  • Specify requirements in a consistent, structured, and well-documented fashion
  • Review, test, and manage change to requirements

"I once read the ten best-selling requirements engineering books of the prior ten years. This one book succinctly presents more useful information than those ten books combined."
--Mike Cohn, author of User Stories Applied and co-founder, Scrum Alliance

"Diamonds come about when a huge amount of carbon atoms are compressed. Karl and Candase have done something very similar: they have compressed their vast requirements knowledge into 20 gems they call 'core practices.' These practices are potent stuff, and I recommend that they become part of everyone's requirements arsenal."
--James Robertson, author of Mastering the Requirements Process and Business Analysis Agility

"Long story short: if you are going to read only one requirements book, this is it. Software Requirements Essentials distills the wealth of information found in Software Requirements and many other texts down to twenty of the most important requirements activities that apply on nearly all projects. Today's busy BA simply doesn't have the time to read a lengthy instructive guide front-to-back. But they should find the time to read this book."
--From the Foreword by Joy Beatty, COO, ArgonDigital

"Software Requirements Essentials will be a high-value addition to your business analysis library. Anyone looking to improve their business analysis practices will find great practical advice they'll be able to apply immediately."
--Laura Paton, Principal Consultant, BA Academy, Inc.

Register your book for convenient access to downloads, updates, and/or corrections as they become available. See inside book for details.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780138190224
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 03/16/2023
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 208
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Karl Wiegers is Principal Consultant with Process Impact, a software development consulting and training company in Happy Valley, Oregon. Previously, he spent eighteen years at Kodak, where he held positions as a photographic research scientist, software developer, software manager, and software process and quality improvement leader. Karl received a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. Karl is the author of thirteen previous books and has written many articles on software development, management, design, consulting, chemistry, and military history. Karl has served on the editorial board for IEEE Software magazine and as a contributing editor for Software Development magazine. He is the author of Software Development Pearls (Addison-Wesley, 2022).

Candase Hokanson is a Business Architect and PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner at ArgonDigital, a software development, professional services, and training company based in Austin, Texas. Candase graduated from Rice University with a BS and MS in civil engineering and a BA in religious studies. She is an active member of the product and business analysis communities, previously serving as a co-chair for the Keep Austin Agile conference in 2019 and president of the Austin IIBA. She has authored multiple articles on using visual models in agile, requirements in agile, and agile in the large enterprise.

Table of Contents

Foreword xvii
Acknowledgments xix
About the Authors xxi

Chapter 1: Essentials of Software Requirements 1
Requirements Defined 2
Good Practices for Requirements Engineering 5
Who Does All This Stuff? 8
Some Recurrent Themes 9
The Life and Times of Requirements 11
Getting Started 11

Chapter 2: Laying the Foundation 13
Practice #1: Understand the problem before converging on a solution 14
Practice #2: Define business objectives 19
Practice #3: Define the solution's boundaries 26
Practice #4: Identify and characterize stakeholders 33
Practice #5: Identify empowered decision makers 39

Chapter 3: Requirements Elicitation 45
Practice #6: Understand what users need to do with the solution 47
Practice #7: Identify events and responses 53
Practice #8: Assess data concepts and relationships 59
Practice #9: Elicit and evaluate quality attributes 67

Chapter 4: Requirements Analysis 75
Practice #10: Analyze requirements and requirement sets 76
Practice #11: Create requirements models 84
Practice #12: Create and evaluate prototypes 91
Practice #13: Prioritize the requirements 97

Chapter 5: Requirements Specification 107
Practice #14: Write requirements in consistent ways 109
Practice #15: Organize requirements in a structured fashion 115
Practice #16: Identify and document business rules 121
Practice #17: Create a glossary 127

Chapter 6: Requirements Validation 131
Practice #18: Review and test the requirements 132

Chapter 7: Requirements Management 141
Practice #19: Establish and manage requirements baselines 142
Practice #20: Manage changes to requirements effectively 149

Appendix: Summary of Practices 157

References 159
Index 165

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