The elicitation, analysis, specification, verification, and validation of requirements for a software project.

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85
votes
12answers
41k views

What is the difference between requirements and specifications?

I've been tasked with developing requirements and specifications for a project our group is starting. I realized that I don't know the difference; a Google search just confused me more -- it seems ...
72
votes
14answers
5k views

How should a developer reject impossible requirements?

Here's the problem I'm facing: Quote From Project Manager: Hey Spark, I'm assigning you the task of developing a framework that could be used for many different iOS applications. Here are the ...
31
votes
9answers
2k views

How to reply to incomplete requests from potential customers? [duplicate]

Working as a freelancer, I receive many weird, invalid or incomplete requests from the actual or potential customers. The most frequent case is this one: Hi, I need a website where people can ...
27
votes
12answers
4k views

Dealing with bad/incomplete/unclear specifications? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project where our dev team gets the specifications from the business part of the company. Both the business management and the IT management require estimates and deadline ...
25
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it the job of a developer to suggest IT requirements?

I am the only developer working on a web application which is nearing to its end. Now we are looking into making it Live in maybe a couple of months time. This is a web application for a non IT ...
25
votes
11answers
574 views

Coaxing requirements out of business people?

What methods seem to work best to coax requirements out of non-tech business people? I am working with a team that’s trying to get a spec together for a project. Every time we have met and it comes ...
25
votes
7answers
37k views

Functional or non-functional requirement?

I'm wondering about functional or non-functional requirements. I have found lot of different definitions for those terms and I can't assign some of my requirement to proper category. I'm wondering ...
21
votes
10answers
1k views

What is the proper way to create requirements documents?

Right now my supervisor is creating requirements documentation / specs for me using bugtracking software. This seems like a terrible idea to me, all the requirements are on these little tickets and I ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

How to convince team members of the existence of a “mandelbug”

We are developing an application; it includes a library developed by another coder, this library communicates with server via multiple network connections, and this involves multiple threads working ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

How can a non-technical person learn to write a spec for small projects?

How can a non-technical person learn to write specs for small projects? A friend of mine is trying to outsource some development on a statistics project. In particular, he does a lot of work in ...
19
votes
11answers
3k views

Tools to produce & manage specifications/requirements (not ticket trackers) [closed]

I'm interested if there are any websites or software out there to aid in initial project design, and then management of the project's design over time as features are implmented, bugs are found, ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

How do you manage feature requests and software changes?

I am a Software Engineer and over the past few years I have become the de-facto software project manager simply because there isn't one. So to keep our sanity in the R&D/Engineering department, ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Challenges to the Agile approach on government projects

A previous Agile discussion here had good answers specifying what is critical to the success of implementing Agile methodology in software development. Most of the points were the typical ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Freelancers: How Do You Go About Gathering Requirements?

As a freelance programmer: What is your process for gathering requirements from a client? How much time does the requirement gathering process take you? I know this is not fixed, and there are ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Hardware requirements

How do people define the minimum hardware requirements for software? For example: how can a software development company tell the customer that they will need 8 GB of RAM to run the program properly?
16
votes
8answers
412 views

Let users get requirements together on their own or guide them along?

I'm sure everyone has experienced something like this. You go into a meeting with a client who has a project. They have no/few requirements in mind and the vaguest understanding of what they ...
14
votes
14answers
1k views

Ideal Operating System [closed]

Okay. So I'm currently trying to design an operating system, but I need ideas. Nevermind the feasibility right now, it's just in the design phase. If you had an OS that did whatever you wanted, what ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What standard superseded 830-1998?

I have been looking into how to document software projects more formally, and I have learned about IEEE 830-1998: Recommended Practice for Software Requirements Specifications. However, as you can ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the best practice for gathering requirements when a customer does not know what he wants? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you deal with changing requirements? This question must have been asked a thousand times but there seems to be little progress in this area: I have asked the ...
14
votes
2answers
460 views

Pair programming business logic with a non-IT person

Have you had any experience in which a non-IT person works with a programmer during the coding process? It's like pair programming, but one person is a non-IT person that knows a lot about the ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

How are minimum system requirements determined?

We've all seen countless examples of software that ships with "minimum system requirements" like the following: Windows XP/Vista/7 1GB RAM 200 MB Storage How are these generally determined? ...
13
votes
6answers
878 views

How to deal with customers who don't understand the complexity of their requests? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Explaining technical things to non-technical people Working with stakeholders who don't know the first thing about technology can be interesting. On one hand, I ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How much detail about a user story can a developer expect?

The biggest drawback of agile development I have experienced is that people not involved in development focus on the mantra that a user story (3-10 ideal person days) should not contain more than 1-3 ...
12
votes
8answers
510 views

What to do if boss always postpones major decisions about requirements and overall design?

When starting a new project, my boss always avoids to make fixed decisions. He is usually saying: ok, just start to write something and be as generic as possible. When you're finished we look how we ...
11
votes
5answers
583 views

What should I do if I don't have any formal spec? [duplicate]

I recently was assigned to a task, but it says only a couple of words, like, do it as it made there, with no actual spec attached. What is the best thing to do in that circumstances?
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Writing a Software Requirement Specification

I have a few questions about writing a specification and they are: When we write a software specification, under the topic "User requirements definition" we have to specify the "Functions" and ...
11
votes
8answers
588 views

Should a programmer “think” for the client?

I have gotten to the point where I hate requirements gathering. Customer's are too vague for their own good. In an agile environment, where we can show the client a piece of work to completion it's ...
11
votes
2answers
567 views

How to manage and estimate unstructured requirements received from customers

A lot of the times during the bidding phase of a project I receive a software system's requirements from our potential customers in a very unstructured format from various sources [email, word ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Tool to manage requirements throughout a software development lifecycle [closed]

I am looking for a tool to manage requirements or features for a software development project. It will be used by a small geographically diverse team of 5-10 people to raise, discuss and track ...
10
votes
14answers
4k views

Better word for Optional Requirements? [closed]

What's a better word for an optional requirement in software engineering? The phrase is contradictory. I've used "Non-Core Requirements" in previous projects.
10
votes
8answers
6k views

Feature vs. Function

Often I hear PMs (Project Managers) talk about feature and function. And I'm just so puzzled to differentiate them. Sometimes I think of a feature to be equivalent to a user story. Something like "As ...
10
votes
8answers
8k views

User Story vs Requirement

User Story captures what the user wants to do with the system at a high level. I understand that the user story would further drive a number low level requirements. Is user story same as high level ...
10
votes
4answers
386 views

How do you get users to rank their software enhancement needs? [duplicate]

I've inherited a legacy software system, and have been tasked with performing usability and system upgrades. While there's nothing bad with the system, from discussions with the users, there are ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it a good idea to write requirements specifications by stories?

We're using agile methods in my current project at the moment, and we have heaps of stories like these: As an assistant, I want to pay a customer a refund so that they can get some money when they ...
9
votes
5answers
755 views

Agile,Waterfall and requirement changes

Has anyone had this issue of a project defined as 'Agile' being overrun by requirement changes ? I work on a development project which is run in 4 weeks Sprint but there are always changes in between ...
9
votes
4answers
371 views

How does requirements management work in the long term with Agile projects?

Requirements Management in the short term for Agile projects seems like a solved problem to me. From the Scrum angle new requirements or changes to existing requirements are delivered through User ...
9
votes
4answers
295 views

Is it a good idea to measure the performance of a method by using unit test timeout?

In a project where there are non-functional requirements which specify the maximum execution time for a specific action, QA must check the performance of this action on a dedicated machine using ...
8
votes
6answers
357 views

How to improve my trade

I'm currently working as a software developer and studying for a software engineering degree (the former whilst not doing the latter). I'm confident in my ability to do my job competently, but I feel ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I convince my team that a requirements specification is unnecessary if we adopt user-stories?

We are planning to adopt user-stories to capture stakeholder 'intent' in a lightweight fashion rather than a heavy SRS (software requirements specifications). However, it seems that though they ...
8
votes
6answers
704 views

Can non-technical staff gather requirements on behalf of the development team?

Working in a large organisation, it is often the case that the members of the development team are not able to get direct access to the client to gather requirements. Is it possible/advisable to give ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

functional requirements - use wording based on verbs?

Question Should the functional requirements in a requirements doc use wording based on verbs? Context School assignment, working in a team, working through the SDLC. The requirements doc has been ...
8
votes
3answers
529 views

using a wiki for requirements

I'm looking into ways of improving requirements management. Currently, we have a Word document published on a Web site. Unfortunately, we cannot (to my knowledge) look at changes from one revision ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Why bother differentiating between functional and nonfunctional requirements?

I understand the difference between the two, but I get questioned by my colleagues of the benefit of labeling requirements as functional or nonfunctional (or transitional). Why bother to do so? He ...
8
votes
4answers
518 views

Where to put details about the acceptance criteria of a user story?

In this blog post about acceptance criteria the author explains that good acceptance criteria should: State an intent not a solution (e.g. “The user can choose an account” rather than “The user can ...
7
votes
9answers
627 views

Why bother with detailed specs?

When writing software, what's the point of writing a formal, detailed dead-tree specification? To clarify, a somewhat informal, high-level specification for people who don't want to read the code ...
7
votes
11answers
2k views

How much storage space do developers really need on work systems?

Not Counting the OS And the requirements to run the Development software. The storage space required. Strictly speaking from work perspective(company setup and not freelancers).A individual ...
7
votes
11answers
880 views

How to estimate cost with very little information?

I have a client who wants a web app that will let him do the following (as he told me word for word): User registration Recurring payments for users Online conference room reservation I am ...
7
votes
8answers
861 views

Extracting user requirements from a person who does not know how to express himself

I had an interview yesterday with a member of our organization who wanted to create a system to help him to do his job, the problem I had with him was that he had only a general idea about what he ...
7
votes
8answers
380 views

Is there any circumstance in which a strict waterfall project can succeed when requirements are not clearly defined?

I can not see how a software project can make any meaningful progress under a waterfall methodology if the requirements cannot be clearly stated from the outset. Am I missing anything?
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Best Practice For Usage of Shall and Must While Writing Requirements

I sent out an email earlier reminding our developers that, the use of the word, 'Shall', in your derived requirements should not follow over to your functional requirements. When writing functional ...