10 Best Practices For Documenting Requirements

10 Best Practices For Documenting Requirements

By far, requirements management is often considered one of the most agonizing parts of planning any project or product. Below are 10 best practices that any project manager, product manager, business analyst, or system analyst should employ during requirements planning and management.

Without well-defined requirements, your project is set up for failure. – Sharon Brown

If you are familiar with the requirements management process, you will not be surprised to learn that these 10 tips are just the beginning of what should be in your requirements tool set.

The list is intentional not in any specific order and represents key actions and best practices that are a useful tool to start any requirements planning, management, and documentation.

  1. Define functional requirements
    –What are the product capabilities, behaviors, and/or operations?
  2. Define non-functional requirements
    –What are the quality attributes or characteristics?
  3. Align functional and non-functional requirements
    –For example, describe what a system must do and the qualities that must be present.
  4. Define requirements traceability
    –Format and map requirements to align with requirement specifications and relevant stakeholders.
  5. Define pre-conditions
    –What must be in place before the requirement can be executed?
  6. Define post-conditions
    –What result or outcome following the requirement?
  7. Define requirement elicitation techniques
    –Leverage the best requirement gathering techniques based on your stakeholder assessment.
  8. Document and format requirements –Apply structured formatting techniques to your requirements documentation.
  9. Verify and validate requirement assumptions –Substantiate the factors that make the foundation of your requirements.
  10. Get requirements buy-in and approval
    –Leverage various techniques to get stakeholder buy-in and ultimately get sign-off on your requirements documentation.

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