Page 3 of 12
Understanding of Effective Business Requirements – the definition
“A requirement can be thought of as something that is demanded or obligatory; aproperty that is essential for the system to perform its functions. Requirements vary in intent andin kinds of properties. They can be functions, constraints, or other elements that must be presentto meet the needs of the intended stakeholders. Requirements can be described as a conditionor capability a customer needs to solve a problem or achievean objective. For clarification purposes, a descriptor shouldalways precede requirements; for example, business requirements, user requirements, system requirements,operational requirements, contract requirements, and test requirements.”
business requirements are the description of thebusiness needed by all parties involved in using, implementing or maintaining an application.Unfortunately with business requirements, much of thedocumentation generated is simply ineffective. The difficultpart is describing all the details of the business in a way that isabsolutely comprehensive and which presents an exactlyconsistent set of information on each piece of a business.Effective requirements have certain characteristics andinformation content. Specifically, effective BusinessRequirements in a project have three characteristics:
Clarity of Format
: information is correctly andconsistently structured in a form which is usable.
: certain types of information arepersistently available.
Efficiency of the Process
: it is clear how analysts will elicitthe information needed.
Business Requirements:The Holistic View
Geoffrey Moore first coined the term ‘whole product’in 1991 (Crossing the Chasm), and we see thisconcept as useful in assessing business requirements.Unless an efficient process is adopted to ensure thatcontent is complete, and clearly communicates tothe various users of the document BusinessRequirements are not an effective process. There are6 attributes that make an effective and efficientprocess.
IIBA, BOK v1.4 (2006)
An Analogy: Evaluating TheEffectiveness of Your Requirements Development Processes
Even mid-sized organizationshave hundreds of projects thatare run annually, maybe 40 ofwhich are significant and risky.An executive needs to think ofgetting business requirementsdone as a manufacturingprocess, done in an identicalway, 40 times over the courseof a year. How could a personmanufacturing computers berandom about what thecomputer looked like, what wasin the computer, and how thecomputer was made and stillexpect a consistent user experience from using thatcomputer?
Content CompletenessClarity of Format to User Efficiency of Process
© Digital Mosaic Inc, 2006