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Everybody’s Favorite Topic, Software Requirements

Don’t blame me if the title of this seems a bit sarcastic; it’s the opening line Karl Weigers gives for his webinar, Software Requirements: 10 Traps to Avoid.

Personally, I enjoyed the webinar. I thought his introduction, covering the hierarchy of software requriements (scope–use cases–functional requirements) was a good introduction that too many analysts and developers are still missing. And maybe it’s because of a recent project I was on, but I also appreciated his emphasis on getting actual users (and not just managers or self-proclaimed experts) involved.

Here is a description of the talk:

Successful software projects are built on a foundation of well-understood requirements. However, many development organizations get caught in traps that prevent them from effectively collecting, documenting, or managing their requirements. This presentation describes ten typical requirements problems that can sabotage your project. Several symptoms that indicate you might be getting caught in each trap are described, along with suggestions for avoiding or escaping from the trap. The requirements traps discussed are:

  • Confusion about what a requirement is
  • Inadequate customer involvement
  • Vague and ambiguous requirements
  • Unprioritized requirements
  • Building functionality no one uses
  • Analysis paralysis
  • Scope creep
  • Inadequate requirements change process
  • Insufficient change impact analysis
  • Inadequate requirements version control

Karl Wiegers is Principal Consultant with Process Impact and is considered an expert in the field of software requirements, in part due to the books he has authored. The webinar was sponsored by MKS.

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