Requirements Definition Week™

Registration Fee: $2795.00 per person

Team Registration Fee (3 or more attendees): $2295.00 per person

A Best Practices Training Curriculum and Certificate Program
for Mastering the Challenges of Defining Better Software Requirements 

Click here to see all the seminars in our complete Training for Better Requirements Curriculum.
Background - Why a Week Long Program Focused on Requirements Definition?

Core competencies for defining software requirements are more relevant now than ever. Project teams need straightforward approaches, tools and techniques for successfully identifying, analyzing, specifying and documenting better requirements for software projects. Since 1992, PESG has offered an extensive training curriculum aimed at teaching requirements professionals how to define and write better requirements. Now, we have assembled the key components of our various seminars into a week-long learning path designed to offer a comprehensive toolkit of the approaches, techniques and skills you need to improve your individual abilities as a requirements definition professional and improve your organization’s requirements process.

You are encouraged to bring your toughest requirements definition problems to a risk-free environment to work on specific solutions to take home to your projects. You will interact with the consultant faculty and other program participants in solution-oriented, facilitated discussions that explore the critical challenges faced when defining requirements. Program modules include:
  • A Framework for Defining and Writing Better Requirements
  • Use Case Modeling Best Practices - Writing Effective Use Cases
  • Validating Requirements - Conducting Inspections and Reviews
  • Requirements Management Basics
  • Requirements Elicitation Techniques
  • Requirements Practicum - Requirements Facilitation Workshop
Who Should Attend
  • Business Analysts, Requirements Analysts, Systems Analysts, Software Quality Assurance Analysts
  • Programmer Analysts charged with requirements definition
  • Managers of Application Design and Development
  • Application and Systems Integrators
  • Project Leaders, Lead Analysts and Key Design and Development Teams
What You Will Learn – Program Organization and Deliverables
Module 1: A Framework for Defining and Writing Better Requirements
Defining a clear set of customer requirements is an essential and important first step to successful software projects. This program module lays the foundation for proven methods for successfully identifying, analyzing, specifying and documenting better user requirements for software projects. Topics include:
  • How to identify user requirements
  • Common requirements definition problems and what to do about them
  • Characteristics of good requirements
  • Common techniques used to define requirements
  • Common methods for eliciting requirements – how and when to use different techniques
  • How to help the customer prioritize requirements
  • How to define unambiguous requirements
  • How to evaluate requirements for testability
  • How to write clearer requirements
Module 1 Agenda
Introduction to User Requirements Definition
  • Purpose of user requirements definition
  • Common requirements mistakes 
  • Characteristics of good requirements
  • Requirements definition roles and responsibilities
The Process of User Requirements Definition
  • Steps in requirements analysis
  • Requirements deliverables
  • Risk Assessment
  • Getting customer sign-off
Eliciting User Requirements
  • Identifying needs vs. wants
  • Requirements elicitation techniques
  • Clarifying expectations
  • Getting customers involved
Prioritizing Requirements
  • Benefits of prioritizing requirements
  • Nominal Group Technique
  • Multivoting
  • Precedence charts
  • Scoring charts
  • QFD
Specifying and Writing Better Requirements
  • How much information is enough
  • Documentation techniques
  • Sample documentation formats
  • Techniques for improving readability
  • Improving understandability
  • Improving testability
Module 2: Use Case Modeling Best Practices – Writing Effective Use Cases
This program module provides participants with an intensive presentation of the use case modeling approach to developing software requirements. Participants will learn practical, proven techniques that can be immediately applied to projects in their work environments. Participants will also have the opportunity to reinforce the techniques presented in class through hands-on exercises and case studies. Topics include:
  • What are the components of a use case model
  • How use case models help address common requirements definition problems 
  • How to apply a step-by-step approach to develop use cases 
  • How to document use cases 
  • How to incorporate use case modeling into the project life cycle
Module 2 Agenda
Use Case Models
  • So what's a use case? 
  • Components of a use case model 
  • Why use case models work so well 
  • Sample use cases 
  • Critical success factors in applying the use case modeling technique
The Use Case Modeling Process
  • Recommended steps in developing use case models 
  • Actor identification guidelines 
  • Guidelines for identifying use cases 
  • Guidelines for naming use cases 
  • Incorporating use case modeling into project life cycles 
  • UML notation for use case diagrams
Documenting Use Cases
  • Documentation templates & styles 
  • Guidelines for writing complete use cases 
  • Preconditions & post conditions
Use Case Modeling Issues
  • Who participates in use case modeling? 
  • How is use case information captured? 
  • How much detail should be included? 
  • Guidelines for effective use case modeling sessions
Module 3: Validating Requirements – Conducting Software Inspections
Formal software inspections are proven techniques for improving software quality, decreasing costs, and accelerating project cycle time. This module is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the process for conducting software requirements inspections. Topics include:
  • How to perform software requirements inspections 
  • Who should perform software requirements inspections 
  • What should be inspected 
  • Inspection costs and benefits 
  • How to use inspection data for process improvement
Module 3 Agenda
Introduction to Software Inspections
  • Differences between formal inspections & other review types
  • Why software inspections are an industry “best practice”
  • Costs and benefits of software inspections
  • How software inspections improve delivery time
The Formal Software Inspection Process
  • Components of the inspection process
  • What gets inspected
  • When to perform inspections
  • Steps involved in the inspection process
  • Inspection work products
  • Roles and responsibilities
Step-by-Step Guide to Performing Requirements Inspections
  • How to perform requirements inspections
  • Establishing entry/exit criteria
  • How much time should be spent 
  • Using inspection checklists
  • Who should participate
  • Determining the outcome of an inspection
  • Using inspection data for process improvement
Module 4: Requirements Management
Establishing and maintaining a common understanding of customer software requirements is an essential element for software project success. Failure to adequately manage requirements over the life cycle of a software project can seriously threaten customer satisfaction and overall success of the project. This program module will provide participants with a thorough understanding of the components required to implement an effective requirements management process for IT organizations of any size.  Topics include:
  • What requirements management is and is not
  • What are the core components of an effective requirements management process
  • Linking the requirements management process to project plans & schedules
  • What a CMM-compliant requirements management process needs to address
  • Management and customer roles and responsibilities
  • Tool support for effective requirements management
Module 4 Agenda
Requirements Management Basics
  • Definition of requirements management
  • Old school vs. new school approaches to requirements management
  • Elements of an effective requirements management process
Managing Requirements Changes
  • Why requirements change
  • Different approaches to change control
  • Why change control is not enough
  • Recommended practices and guidelines
Requirements Traceability
  • What requirements traceability means
  • How traceability can be performed
  • Who should do it
Project Impact Analysis
  • Definition of impact analysis
  • The role of impact analysis in requirements management
  • Evaluating the impact of requirements changes
  • Linking requirements management to project plans & schedules
Other Requirements Management Issues
  • Establishing roles and responsibilities
  • Tailoring the requirements management process to your organization
  • Requirements management tool support
Module 5 – Capping Off the Entire Requirements Process
Several additional topics are presented to ensure attendees have a comprehensive understanding of the entire requirements process, from project initiation through completion and management of the project requirements. Topics include:
  • Scoping a project to ensure complete agreement
  • Identifying all the project stakeholders, including the more hidden ones
  • Asking effective questions
  • Conducting effective interviews
  • Initiating, leading, and participating in fruitful requirements workshops
  • Determining when and how to use these and additional elicitation techniques
  • Selecting, adapting, or creating appropriate formats for your requirements documents
  • Applying a potent technical writing process to create a comprehensive requirements specification
Module 5 Agenda
Pre-Elicitation Activities
  • Initiating a project: identifying scope, justification, and business constraints
  • Documenting the scope and obtaining concurrence
  • Assessing candidate stakeholders in all major stakeholder categories
  • Seeking the less-obvious stakeholders
  • Preparing effective questions: types of questions to use and to avoid
  • Techniques to organize your questions for maximum results
Requirements Elicitation: Interviews, Workshops, Other Techniques
  • Tactics to ensure potent interviews
  • Requirements workshops: tips and process for optimal sessions
  • Other essential techniques to have in your elicitation toolkit
  • Selecting the most appropriate technique for each situation, stakeholder
Requirements Formats: Standards, Others, Your Own
  • Key topics and sections for any requirements document
  • Industry-accepted standard formats for requirements documents and specifications
  • Other possible useful formats
  • Adapting any format to your specific projects
A Holistic Approach to Technical Writing
  • Identifying your documentation goals, requirements, and audience
  • The most essential part of writing: planning, prewriting, organizing
  • A few essentials to improve the cogency of your document
  • Post-writing: editing and testing the document before completion
Module 6:  Requirements Practicum - Comprehensive Requirements Workshop
The week is capped off with a comprehensive series of practical hands-on team exercises based on a real-world project (past, present, or future) provided by one or more of the members of each team, to ensure you leave the week with in-depth practical knowledge and experience, not just theoretical understanding. The workshops walk attendees through a full requirements process, applying everything learned to an organization’s real project. Workshop topics include:
  • Eliciting requirements from subject matter experts via interviews or workshops
  • Creating a clear scope statement and diagram as the foundation for the project
  • Writing precise, powerful functional requirements using use cases or straight text techniques
  • Capturing and recording requirements for error conditions and alternatives
  • Identifying and documenting data requirements
  • Adding the non-functional requirements 
  • Pulling everything together into a clear, concise, strong requirements specification
  • Performing an inspection of the resulting requirements document
Module 6 Agenda
  • Requirements elicitation: interview or workshop
  • Creating a scope document
  • Capturing the functional requirements  via use cases or straight text
  • Expanding the functional requirements: data requirements
  • Expanding the functional requirements: non-functional requirements
  • Creating the actual document
  • Inspecting the resulting requirements specification
Closing: Summary of Full Requirements Process
Joseph M. Demascois PESG's lead instructor and course designer for topics including requirements gathering and management, business analysis, project management, software testing, CMM® and object oriented analysis and design curricula. Joe is the faculty director for PESG's Training for Better Requirements Curriculum. Joe is a nationally recognized consultant and educator/seminar leader for software project management, software engineering, and technology management. He has more than 30 years of experience as a consultant to industry and government organizations in the United States and abroad. He specializes in providing consulting and mentoring services to help organizations successfully implement new technologies and management methods, and provides guidance to organizations involved in improving quality and productivity, business processes, and software maturity levels. As a teacher, he is especially known for his ability to take complex technical subject matter and present it in a clear, easy to understand format.
Barbara Warthen is a senior PESG faculty member and lead instructor/course designer for PESG's Training for Better Requirements Curriculum. She as more than 30 years experience in information systems development, serving in a variety of technical and management positions with various and diverse organizations and industries, and over a decade of adult teaching experience. She has extensive experience in many areas of software engineering including requirements elicitation and management; analysis and design; programming; testing; and maintenance; along with extensive project leadership and management experience including as a volunteer convener (director) overseeing 50-plus global projects in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). She has experience teaching in colleges and universities in a variety of areas; has presented her own seminars around the world to diverse industrial, government, and academic audiences; and has taught courses to worldwide organizations through several global training organizations.
FAQs About Requirements Definition Week

What are the class hours?
Day 1      8:30 AM to 9:00 AM Registration and Sign In
                9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Class Hours
Day 2-4  9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Class Hours
Day 5     9:00 AM to 12:30 PM Class Hours - Adjournment
What is included in the registration fee?
The fee includes instruction, extensive program documentation and refreshment breaks each day.
When and how should I pay for my registration?
Payments, purchase orders or authorizations must be received 30 days prior to the program start date. We accept personal checks, company checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Purchase orders or written authorizations are also accepted.
What is the training venue?
PESG G Street NW Training Facility
1325 G Street NW
Washington DC  20005
Hotel Accommodations?
PESG does not arrange hotel accommodations. We do provide hotel listings in close proximity to the training site. 
Cancellation Notice - Cancellation Fees?
PESG will provide a full refund if you cancel your registration in writing (via fax or email) before 30 days prior to a program start date. If you cancel after 30 days prior to a program start date, you are liable for the entire registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. If you do not provide written cancellation notice and do not attend, you are liable for the entire registration fee. In the event of a cancellation of the "Requirements Definition Week" for any reason, PESG's liability is limited to the return of the registration fee.