I recently published a blog post on Microsoft Press’s blog that discusses the different uses for a Requirements Mapping Matrix (RMM). In this excerpt from the post, I describe how to use the RMM to identify requirements:RMMs help you identify requirements throughout the project. For example, if you put your Process Flow steps in the matrix, then you can look at one step at a time and think about requirements to support that step. After each step, then move to the next step, and so on. For example, in Figure 1, we would consider the “Enter search criteria” step of our L3 Process Flow and try to identify all possible requirements for that step by focusing only on that individual step. We would do the same for the “Review search results” step.
If you already have requirements identified, you can still put them in an RMM and map them to Process Flow steps. Then, you look for missing requirements and steps. If you have steps that do not have many requirements, you might be missing requirements. If you have requirements that do not map to a step, then you either are missing a step in a Process Flow, or you have a requirement that doesn’t support a business process and might not be needed.Figure 3 shows an example of a Process step that might be missing requirements and a requirement that is not mapped to a Process Flow step.
Based on the work of cognitive psychologist George A. Miller, we know that it is hard for people to analyze more than 7+/-2 things at a time. Therefore, if you have more than approximately five to nine requirements mapped to a single Process Flow step, you need to create another grouping to further organize requirements, like features. Then you’d have Process Flow steps mapped to features mapped to requirements.
Later in the post, I explain how to use the RMM to control your project’s scope, filter requirements to a relevant set for review, and how if you can only add one new model to your project, this is an easy and valuable one to choose.
Check out the Microsoft Press post for the rest of the blog. You can also find more detail in Chapter 7, Requirements Mapping Matrix, of our new book.