Requirements Boot Camp

Earl BeedeConstrux Senior Fellow

What is the most frequently reported cause of software project failure–regardless of project size or type of software? Requirements challenges.Discover how leading-edge companies use requirements engineering to support successful software projects.

7 Hours of Content
15 Lectures
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Course Details

  • Overview

    What is the most frequently reported cause of software project failure–regardless of project size or type of software? Requirements challenges. Discover how leading-edge companies use requirements engineering to support successful software projects. Learn the three purposes of requirements and how to distinguish between requirements fantasies and requirements reality. Practice practical techniques for exploring user needs, capturing requirements, controlling changes, and building highly satisfactory software.

    Certification Information

    7 PDU’s
    PMI PDU Reporting Instructions

    Who Should Attend

    Business analysts, requirements analysts, technical leads, project leads, project managers, program managers, developers, testers, and all others who want to develop better requirements.

  • Course Details

    Software Requirements: What and Why

    • Requirements: fantasies and real world
    • What is a requirement?
    • Three purposes of requirements
    • Product and project requirements
    • Levels and types of requirements
    • Characteristics of good individual requirements
    • Characteristics of good sets of requirements
    • The Vision Statement as the top-level requirement
    • Requirements as a risk management activity
    • Knowing when you’re done

    The Requirements Process

    • Comprehensive strategies for defining requirements
    • Iterative elicitation, analysis, specification, and validation
    • Breadth-first approaches
    • Depth-first approaches
    • Spiral approaches
    • Tools: chartering workshop, collaborative development, risk management, parallel development

    Requirements Elicitation

    • Who has requirements?
    • Eliciting requirements from people
    • Eliciting requirements from other systems
    • Eliciting requirements from the environment
    • Finding the decision maker
    • Incorporating business rules
    • Finding the abnormal and exception cases
    • Dealing with ambiguity
    • Tools: interviews, context-free questioning, brainstorming, JAD workshops, prototyping, task analysis, use cases, competitive benchmarking, document archeology, project charter, vision statement

    Who Defines Requirements

    • The requirements engineer
    • Requirements engineering roles
    • Skills needed to develop requirements effectively
    • How the requirements engineer relates to the rest of the project
    • Checklist for requirements leads

    Requirements Analysis

    • Classification and prioritization schemes
    • Requirements negotiation
    • Tools: prototypes, use cases, essential systems modeling, data dictionary

    Requirements Specification

    • Characteristics of a good requirement specification
    • Models as specification
    • Guidelines for writing requirements
    • Picking the right model for the task at hand
    • Quantifying qualitative attributes
    • Writing effective use cases
    • Organizing the requirements
    • Achieving right-weight documentation
    • Putting it all together: The Software Requirements Specification
    • Tools: usability studies, prototyping, use cases, fit criteria, User Guide as specification, Planguage, context diagrams, information/class diagrams, data flow diagrams, decision tables, state transition diagrams, sequence diagrams, decision tables, data dictionary, project glossary, specification templates

    Requirements Validation

    • What is the difference between validation and verification?
    • Validation techniques
    • Formal and informal inspections
    • Checklists
    • Creating test cases
    • Tools: ambiguity metric, prototyping, requirements reviews and checklists, usability studies

    Requirements Management

    • Why requirements change
    • Role of a requirements baseline
    • Attributes needed to support well-managed requirements
    • Controlling change using corrective activity management
    • Status tracking
    • Tools: change control policy and change control board, traceability tools, version control

    Special Considerations

    • Requirements in outsourced projects
    • Requirements in maintenance projects
    • Requirements in component-based systems


  • Earl Beede

    Construx Senior Fellow

    Earl Beede, CSDP is a Senior Fellow at Construx Software, where he designs and leads seminars and provides consulting services on early project-lifecycle practices, estimation, requirements, quality assurance, contract management, and software methodologies.

    With more than 20 years experience as a quality assurance representative, systems analyst, process architect, and manager, Earl has designed and written software development processes for companies across a wide variety of industries. Prior to joining Construx, he held quality assurance and systems analyst positions at organizations that include the Department of Defense, Boeing Computer Services and Verizon Wireless.

    Earl has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and a past coordinator of the Seattle Area SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network).

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