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Other titles in the Addison-Wesley Information Technology series:

Effective Requirements Practices with CDROM (Addison-Wesley Information Technology)


Effective Requirements Practices with CDROM (Addison-Wesley Information Technology) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Ralph Young has written an excellent guide for those who must understand and manage their customer's requirements. And that means just about everyone in the systems and software world." --Roger Pressman

Requirements analysis and management is finally receiving the attention it deserves as a key factor in the success of systems and software development projects.

And with this new attention comes a pragmatic guide to proven industry practices for emerging and fulfilling customer requirements. More than just an idealized view of the topic, Effective Requirements Practices addresses both managerial and technical issues that determine the success--or failure--of a project. The requirements practices described in this book enable you to redirect resources to satisfy customers' real business needs. Together, these practices provide a proven framework and process that help keep projects on the right track and ensure that requirements are addressed properly throughout a project's life cycle.

This book demonstrates proven methods and techniques. Topics covered include

  • Strategies and methods for getting to the "real" customer requirements
  • Developing and improving a requirements process
  • The roles and responsibilities of the Joint Team for requirements elicitation
  • Designing system requirements with the system architecture in mind
  • Maintaining effective communication among team members
  • Maintaining a set of work products
  • Requirements verification and validation
  • Accommodating changes in requirements throughout the project
  • How the recommended requirements practices utilize the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) framework
  • Achieving an environment of continuous improvement and mutual support of one another

Also provided is a sample process that has been used in industry and deployed and tailored on dozens of projects. In addition, Effective Requirements Practices offers you recommendations for incorporating industry best practices into the development effort.

You will come away from this book well equipped to better satisfy your customers' needs.


Book News Annotation:

A pragmatic guide to proven industry practices related to both managerial and technical issues that determine the success or failure of a project. Software engineer Young discusses topics including strategies and methods for getting to the real customer requirements, developing and improving a requirements process, the roles and responsibilities of the joint team for requirements elicitation, designing system requirements, maintaining effective communication among team members, maintaining a set of work products, requirements verification and validation, accommodating changes, and how the recommended requirements practices utilize the Capability Maturity Model framework. He also provides a sample process and offers recommendations for incorporating industry best practices.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Ralph R. Young is the Director of Software Engineering, Systems and Process Engineering, at Litton PRC, Inc., a leading provider of information technology and systems-based solutions. Litton PRC, Inc. is also a CMM Level 5 organization. Dr. Young is an avid reader of the industry literature. He leads PRC's Requirements Working Group of requirements engineers. He teaches the 10-hour PRC "Requirements Course for Practitioners" and consults frequently about both requirements engineering and process improvement for PRC's customers. He has been awarded PRC's Teamwork, Leadership, and Continuous Improvement Awards and has been recognized often for his contributions in process management and improvement.


Table of Contents

List of Figures.




I. Background.

1 Introduction.

The State of the Industry Today.

The Need to Use Effective Requirements Practices.

The Requirements Process.

What is a Process?

What Is the Requirements Process?

Benefits of a Process Approach.

Pitfalls of Using a Process Approach.

About This Book.


Key Terms.

A Requirements Taxonomy.

Systems and Software Engineers.

Intended Audience.

Recommended Mind-set for Readers of This Book.

The "Team," the "Project," and the "Project Manager".

Footnotes in This Book.

Key References and Suggested Readings.

Upcoming Topics.


Key References and Suggested Readings.

II Recommended Requirements Practices.

2 Commit to the Approach.

What Do We Mean by Commitment?

How Can Commitment Be Attained and Maintained?

Recommendations to Assist in Evolving the Partnering Approach.

Involve Managers with Authority in the Partnering Workshop.

Develop a Requirements Plan.

Utilize a Set of Mechanisms, Methods, Techniques, and Tools.

Work Toward a Quality Culture.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
3 Establish and Utilize a Joint Team Responsible for the Requirements.

What Is a "Joint Team"?

What Does the Joint Team Do?

How Is the Joint Team Created?

Who Should Be on the Joint Team?

How Often Should the Joint Team Meet?

What Metrics Need to Be Created and Tracked?

Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) from Using Effective Requirements Practices.

Customer and Supplier Roles.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
4 Define the Real Customer Needs.

Recommendations to Facilitate Getting to the Real Requirements.

Invest More in the Requirements Process.

Train PMs to Pay More Attention to the Requirements Process.

Identify a Project Champion.

Define the Project Vision and Scope.

Identify a Requirements Engineer and Utilize Domain Experts to Perform Requirements Engineering Tasks.

Train Developers Not to Make Requirements Decisions and Not to Gold Plate.

Utilize a Variety of Techniques to Elicit Customer and User Requirements and Expectations.

Use Cases.

Train Requirements Engineers to Write Good Requirements.

The Impact of Requirements Errors.

The Importance of Requirements to Program Costs.

What Is a Good Requirement?

Document the Rationale for Each Requirement.

Utilize Methods and Automated Tools to Analyze, Prioritize, and Track Requirements.

Approaches, Tools, and Methods for Prioritizing Requirements.

Collect Requirements from Multiple Viewpoints.

Consider the Use of Formal Methods When Appropriate.



Key References and Suggested Readings.
5 Use and Continually Improve a Requirements Process.

What Is a Process?

How Is a Process Designed?

Why Is a Requirements Process Needed?

Goals of Requirements Engineers.

A Sample Requirements Process.

How Can Organizations Create or Tailor a Requirements Process?

Tailoring of Processes.

Web Support: An Organizational Process Asset Library.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
6 Iterate the System Requirements and Architecture Repeatedly.

The System Engineering Process.


Consider the "Designability" of the System When Addressing the Requirements.

Allocate Requirements to Functional Partitions, Objects, People, or Support Elements to Support Synthesis of Solutions.

Utilize a System Architecture Process.

Consider Open Systems Standards.

Guidelines for "Architecting".

Another View.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
7 Use a Mechanism to Maintain Project Communication.

Setting the Stage.

Natural Human Tendency.

A Proactive Approach to Achieve Effective Communication.

An Example Mechanism.

When Negativism Shows Up.

Another Valuable Mechanism<171>Brown Bags.

Guidelines for Effective Meetings.

Guidelines for Effective E-mail Communication.

The Value of a Common Vocabulary.

The Use of Vertical Experts.

Avoid Multiple Locations.

A Final Recommendation.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
8 Select Familiar Methods and Maintain a Set of Work Products.

The Foundation for System Development.

What Are the Candidate Methods and Techniques?

Which Methods and Techniques Are Best?

Use of Function Points for Software Estimation.

Quality Function Deployment.

What Comprises the Requirements Specification?

The Rationale for Prioritizing Requirements.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
9 Perform Requirements Verification and Validation.

V&V Terminology.

The Importance of V&V.

V&V Planning.

Verification Methods.

V&V Techniques.

Using Traceability to Support Verification.

A Structured Approach to Testing.




Key References and Suggested Readings.
10 Provide an Effective Mechanism to Accommodate Requirements Changes.

Why Such Emphasis?

Planning for Changes in Requirements.

The Recommended Mechanism.

Requirements Leakage.

Focus on What Counts!

How Much Can Requirements Change?

A Way to Deal with Requirements Creep Contractually.

Other Recommendations.


Key References and Suggested Readings.
11 Perform the Development Effort Using Known, familiar Proven Industry, Organizational, and Project Best Practices.

What's All the Fuss?

What Can We Do About It?


Provide to the Development Team an Understanding of the Relevant Policies, Processes, and Procedures to Be Used.

Utilize a Practical, Effective Project Management Approach.

Ensure That Selected Members of the Development Team Have Domain Knowledge.

Perform the Development Effort Using Known (Trained), Proven Processes, Mechanisms, Methods, Techniques, and Tools.

Provide and Utilize Mechanisms to Foster Effective Communications Throughout the Development Team.

Utilize Peer Reviews and Inspections to Remove Defects from Processes and Work Products.

Ensure That Configuration Management Is Effective.

Foster an Independent QA Role That Proactively Assists and Supports the Development Team and Provides Value to the Project.

Ensure That Subcontractors Are Managed So That Their Contributions Are Effective.

Use Appropriate, Useful Metrics to Manage the Project.

Ensure That a Systematic Approach to Involving the Customer in This Entire Effort Is Working.

Manage Processes Quantitatively. Also, Use a Defect Prevention (DP) Process, a Technology Change Management (TCM) Process, and a Process Change Management (PCM) Process. Perform Extensive Reinsertion and Reuse Throughout the Organization.

Musings on Project Management.


Key References and Suggested Readings.

III.What to Do Next.

12 How to Proceed.

Common Issues.

Key Factors in Addressing These Issues.

The Customer.

Requirements as a Key Driver to Any Systems or Software Effort.

Financing Improvements in the Requirements Process.

Survival of the Fittest.

Management Awareness and Expectations.


The Development Team.

Where to Start.

How to Prioritize Needed Efforts.

Relationship of the Recommended Effective Requirements Practices to the CMM.

But I Have So Many Things to Do....

What If We Are "Further Along" on Our Project?


Key References and Suggested Readings.


List of Acronyms.



Author Index.

Subject Index. 0201709120T04062001.

Product Details

Young, Ralph
Addison-Wesley Professional
Young, Ralph R.
Boston, Ma.
Engineering - General
Programming - General
Programming - Software Development
Computer software
Software engineering
Software Development & Engineering - General
Computer software -- Development.
Engineering-General Engineering
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Addison-Wesley information technology series
Series Volume:
no. 24
Publication Date:
March 2001
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 x 7.2 x 0.9 in 676 gr

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Computers and Internet » Software Engineering » General
Computers and Internet » Software Engineering » Programming and Languages
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Engineering » Engineering » General Engineering

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