Defining and Writing Better Requirements

Registration Fee: $995.00 per person

Team Registration Fee (3 or more attendees): $795.00 per person

Availability - On Site In Person, Private Virtual Classroom, Open Enrollment
Duration - 2 Days In Person - 13 Hours Virtual
Defining a clear set of customer requirements is an essential and important first step to successful software projects. This seminar provides proven, trusted methods for identifying, analyzing, specifying and documenting better requirements for software projects.
What You Will Learn
  • Define the basic types of requirements – Functional Requirements and Non Functional Requirements – and review samples of both.
  • Establish a 5 Part Functional Requirements Model around Inputs, Function, Outputs, Constraints and Business Rules.
  • Understand the importance of requirements and their impact on the entire project life cycle.
  • Understand common requirements definition problems and learn what to do about them.
  • Define these key requirements activities – Elicitation, Analysis, Prioritization, Documentation, Validation and Management.
  • Define the characteristics of good requirements – Apply your own personal check list to make sure your requirements are: Correct, Complete, Consistent, Unambiguous, Testable, Feasible, Traceable,   Necessary, Prioritized and “What” vs. “How”
  • Establish who is responsible for ensuring requirements have all the characteristics defined – define your requirements roles and responsibility.
  • Review recommendations for both management and analysts involved in the requirements process.
  • Learn specific proven techniques used to identify requirements.
  • Take a step-by-step tour through the requirements process with proven, real world techniques used to define requirements.
  • Receive guidelines for effective requirements documentation.
  • Review sample requirements templates – including client samples for private seminars.
  • Understand how to validate requirements – make certain you have met stakeholder/customer needs and identified and removed any defects.
  • Understand how to use validation including requirements walkthroughs, peer reviews and formal inspections – learn the 10 steps to improving requirements reviews.
  • Define and examine proven methods for eliciting requirements – how and when to use different techniques.
  • Learn steps to successfully define unambiguous requirements – Take the steps necessary to write clearer requirements.
  • Apply techniques to evaluate requirements for testability – learn to write testable requirements.
  • Learn how to ask better questions – including our coveted list of context-free “Magic Questions for Business Analysts.”
  • Review the key components of the Use Case Model – Stakeholders, Actors and Goals
  • Receive an introduction to Use Cases as an elicitation technique – learn the basic anatomy of an effective use case – examine Names, Actors, Preconditions, Postconditions, Stakeholders and Interests, Guarantees, Triggers, Main Success Scenario and Alternate Scenarios
  • Learn to determine how much detail to include when writing use cases, understand the issues associated with use cases and the UML
  • Learn how to help the customer prioritize requirements – review specific techniques used to successfully prioritize.
  • Review proven requirements documentation techniques including English Narrative, Structured English, Decision Tables and Decision Trees. Review the problems associated with each technique and see samples of successful use of these tools.
Who Should Attend
This seminar is intended for business analysts, systems analysts, software development managers, project team leaders, project team members and any software professionals who are or will be involved ain specifying requirements for software systems.
Virtual Classroom Schedule
Virtual classroom sessions are conducted as follows:
1:00 PM to 4:15 PM DAILY, Eastern Time (New York)
Virtual sessions are delivered using Cisco Webex Meeting Center. When you join the online meeting using the link provided in a confirmation email, you will be asked to either phone a US toll number or connect using a computer head set. If you phone in to the audio conference using the toll number provided, long distance toll charges will apply. If you connect using a computer head set with microphone (VOIP), no toll charges will apply.
Module 1 Introduction to Requirements – First Things First
  • What’s a requirement?
  • Types of requirements
  • 5 Part Functional Requirements Model 
  • Sample Functional and Non Functional requirements
  • Understanding the importance of requirements to the subsequent phases of the project life cycle
  • Industry statistics – Error detection and repair costs
  • Essential foundation elements for capturing good requirements
  • Cost of bad requirements
  • Exercise:  What’s a requirement?
Module 2 Getting Good Requirements – The Basics
  • Basic foundation elements for getting good requirements
  • Analyst skill sets and Analysts responsibilities 
  • Common Analyst mistakes – “Seven Deadly Sins” commonly committed 
  • Common requirements problems and how to deal with each
             - Problems of Scope
             - Problems of Understanding
             - Problems of Conflict
             - Problems of Participation
             - Problems of Volatility 
  • Characteristics of good requirements and assigning responsibility for ensuring these characteristics are included – who’s responsible for making sure your requirements are Correct, Complete, Consistent, Unambiguous, Testable, Feasible, Traceable, Necessary, Prioritized and based on “What” vs. “How”?
  • Aligning roles and responsibilities
  • 9 Recommendations for Analysts
  • 6 Recommendations for Managers
  • Exercise:  Important analyst skill sets 
Module 3 The Requirements Process
  • Defining Requirements Definition - Key requirements definition activities 
             -  Elicitation
             -  Analysis
             -  Prioritization
             -  Documentation
             -  Validation
             -  Maintenance
  • Elicitation and Check List – Key Elicitation Tasks
  • Analysis Check List – Key Requirements Analysis Tasks
  • Basic techniques used in requirements elicitation and analysis
             -  Fact-finding techniques - Interviews, Meetings, Surveys, Sampling, Observation, Brainstorming, JAD,                     Prototyping, Use case models
            -  Diagramming techniques
  •  Guidelines for Documenting Requirements
  • Sample Vision and Scope Documents
  • Sample Requirements Template
  • Sample Requirements Document
  • Validating requirements
             -  Informal walkthroughs
             -  Requirements inspections
             -  Problems to avoid
  • Ten Steps to Improving Requirements Validation
  • Managing requirements changes
  • Reasons for requirements changes
            -  Dealing with requirements changes
            -  Requirements management
            -  Project impact analysis
  • Exercise: Defining the problem
Module 4 Requirements Elicitation Techniques – Part 1 
                        Interviews, Meetings and Questions
  • Guidelines for effective interviews
  • 10 steps for more effective meetings
  • Planning the interview
  • Types of interview questions – questions to avoid
  • Asking the right questions - Developing your questioning
  • Improving your listening skills
  • Exercise:: Developing questions with free writing technique
Module 5 Requirements Elicitation Techniques – Part 2
                       Use Cases
  • Use Case Modeling
  • Sample use case review
  • Key use case model components 
             -  Stakeholders
             -  Actors 
             -  Goals
  • Basic anatomy of a use case
  • Basic use case format
  • Use case names
  • Stakeholders and Interests
  • Sample actor description
  • Use case postconditions
  • Use case preconditions
  • Use case triggers
  • Main success scenario
  • Guidelines for use case action steps
  • Technology issues
  • How much detail?
  • Writing guidelines
  • Identifying data elements
  • Referencing business rules
  • Use cases within use cases
  • Use case extensions, including samples and notations
  • Guidelines for extensions
  • Use case diagrams and UML
  • Important use case modeling issues
             -  Who participates in developing the use cases?
             -  How do we capture the use case text?
             -  How much detail to show in the use case?
  • Why use cases work
  • Exercise: Use case exercises 
Module 6 Requirements Prioritization Techniques
  • Business reasons for prioritizing
  • Nominal Group Technique (NGT)
  • Multi-voting
  • Precedence charts
  • Scoring matrices
  • Quality Function Deployment (QFD)
  • Exercises: Team exercise 
Module 7 Requirements Documentation Techniques
  • How much information is enough?
  • English narrative
             -  Guidelines for writing clearer requirements
            -  Improving readability and understandability
            -  Readability metrics 
  • Sample Business Rules
  • Sample Narrative Specifications
  • Sample Readability Matrices
  • Structured English
  • Decision tables
  • Decision trees
  • Exercise: Applying the writing guidelines
  • Exercise: Decision tables
  • Exercise: Decision trees