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Why the Right Approach to Requirements is Critical to Your Projects

How much time do you dedicate to Requirements Engineering when you operate a project? One day at the beginning? Two days? Five percent of the whole project running time? If your approach to requirements is decisive for the success of your project, then why isn’t the answer “every day”? Maybe you don’t believe in the importance of requirements. After all, there are also goals, technical details and the general approach to your project to consider.

Reasons for continuous Requirements Engineering

Imagine you work for an automobile manufacturer. It is the year 1960 and your want to develop a new car model. What are the requirements? Possibly a certain cruising range. Also, the car should be suitable for at least for persons. A radio should be pre-installed. And seat belts, of course. Indicators are a standard feature.

Back to 2014. Passenger airbags should only activate if a passenger is in the car. The drinks holder must offer enough space for two 500 ml beverage cans, proportions 67 mm * 168 mm. Of course, the Euro 4 emission standard must be adhered to.

Today manufacturers of software and systems, of automobiles, kitchen equipment or space ships are confronted with requirements that simply didn’t exist 50 years ago. We swipe to make phone calls, self-steering vacuum cleaners find their way through our house and whole families stay in contact using What’s App.

There are many aspects to consider: boundary conditions, desired functionalities, quality standards, excitement factors, as well as user goals and the complete elicitation of requirements. What technical means of expression are best to describe requirements? Which process model is the basis for product development? How is prioritizing handled?

Challenges of Complexity

Challenges of Complexity

In short: With increasing complexity the demand for a thorough Requirements Engineering process is becoming increasingly clear. Only continuous Requirements Engineering puts you in a position where you can master the sheer amount of requirements. And with it the documentation and the boundary conditions and the expectations of the management and…

Requirements Management you get a grip on your projects, your dates and your schedule. You develop better products. Products that excite your users.

Trouble Shooting Is a Money Burner

Still not sure that implementing a continuous Requirements Engineering work flow is beneficial to your project? Maye a look at the financial side of things convinces you.

Numerous studies show that trouble shooting is way more expensive than avoiding trouble by identifying it – through Requirements Engineering. Certain automobile manufacturers painfully remember some really expensive recall actions, don’t they?

Cost Factors For Trouble Shooting

Cost Factors For Trouble Shooting

Continuous Requirements Engineering helps you to reduce costs over the whole project running time. The expenditures you make for dealing with requirements you amortize by creating better products, less service and support requests and improved customer loyalty. Happy customers will recommend your products.

Of course, the more users, the more ideas – good to have effective Requirements Engineering in place.

Michael Schenkel believes in useful tools, that support users in their work and that provide a common working environment for all types of roles in a project. He became a member of the microTOOL family more than fifteen years ago and took over the position of head of marketing for about half a decade. In October 2017, he moved on to a new adventure and we wish him all the best on this new path.

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2 replies
  1. Alexander Kriegisch
    Alexander Kriegisch says:

    I would like to learn more about the data source for the graphics on the bottom. Who is SQS and how can I get the data?


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