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Mastering the Requirements Process: Getting Requirements Right [Anglais] [Relié]

Suzanne Robertson , James Robertson

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Description de l'ouvrage

6 août 2012

“If the purpose is to create one of the best books on requirements yet written, the authors have succeeded.”

—Capers Jones

Software can solve almost any problem. The trick is knowing what the problem is. With about half of all software errors originating in the requirements activity, it is clear that a better understanding of the problem is needed.


Getting the requirements right is crucial if we are to build systems that best meet our needs. We know, beyond doubt, that the right requirements produce an end result that is as innovative and beneficial as it can be, and that system development is both effective and efficient.


Mastering the Requirements Process: Getting Requirements Right, Third Edition, sets out an industry-proven process for gathering and verifying requirements, regardless of whether you work in a traditional or agile development environment. In this sweeping update of the bestselling guide, the authors show how to discover precisely what the customer wants and needs, in the most efficient manner possible.


Features include

  • The Volere requirements process for discovering requirements, for use with both traditional and iterative environments
  • A specification template that can be used as the basis for your own requirements specifications
  • Formality guides that help you funnel your efforts into only the requirements work needed for your particular development environment and project
  • How to make requirements testable using fit criteria
  • Checklists to help identify stakeholders, users, non-functional requirements, and more
  • Methods for reusing requirements and requirements patterns

New features include

  • Strategy guides for different environments, including outsourcing
  • Strategies for gathering and implementing requirements for iterative releases
  • “Thinking above the line” to find the real problem
  • How to move from requirements to finding the right solution
  • The Brown Cow model for clearer viewpoints of the system
  • Using story cards as requirements
  • Using the Volere Knowledge Model to help record and communicate requirements
  • Fundamental truths about requirements and system development

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Descriptions du produit

Biographie de l'auteur

Suzanne Robertson and James Robertson have, over many years, helped hundreds of companies improve their requirements techniques and move into the fast lane of system development. Their courses and seminars on requirements, analysis, and design are widely praised for their innovative approach. The Robertsons are principals of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a well-known consultancy specializing in the human dimensions of complex system building. They are also the coauthors of Requirements-Led Project Management (Addison-Wesley, 2005).


James Robertson and Suzanne Robertson have, over many years, helped hundreds of companies improve their requirements techniques and move into the fast lane of system development. Their courses and seminars on requirements, analysis, and design are widely praised for their innovative approach. The Robertsons are principals of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a well-known consultancy specializing in the human dimensions of complex system building. They are also the coauthors of Requirements-Led Project Management (Addison-Wesley, 2005).

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.9 étoiles sur 5  15 commentaires
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Requirements Done Right 5 octobre 2012
Par T. Anderson - Publié sur
Today we have a lot of different software development processes to choose from. We have Scrum, XP, the Unified Process, the Rational Unified Process, the Open Unified Process, the Enterprise Unified Process, Lean Processes, DSDM, TDD, Cleanroom, RAD, Spiral, and Waterfall. I am sure there are plenty more. Those are just the ones I can think of sitting here waiting on the train.

All the different processes out there have one thing in common, not getting requirements right is their Achilles' heel. Wrong requirements mean a lot of rework at best, and complete project failure in the worst scenarios.

The Volere Requirement Process described in this book can be used with any of the processes listed above. Every process needs to gather requirements.

After starting with some fundamental truths about requirements gathering and an introduction to the Volere Requirement Process the author digs into the detail of the process's activities and resulting artifacts. I have listed the chapters below. The titles give you an idea of the variety of topics covered.

1. Some Fundamental Truths
2. The Requirements Process
3. Scoping the Business Problem
4. Business Use Cases
5. Investigating the Work
6. Scenarios
7. Understanding the Real Problem
8. Starting the Solution
9. Strategies for Today's Business Analyst
10. Functional Requirements
11. Non-functional Requirements
12. Fit Criteria and Rationale
13. The Quality Gateway
14. Requirements and Iterative Development
15. Reusing Requirements
16. Communicating the Requirements
17. Requirements Completeness
A. Volere Requirements Specification Template
B. Stakeholder Management Templates
C. Function Point Counting: A Simplified Introduction
D. Volere Requirements Knowledge Model
Volere: Requirements Resources

The authors really give a lot of great advice on techniques for eliciting (they refer to it as trawling) requirements. They have outlined some great ways to interact with the project stakeholders that will get them thinking about the requirements that need to be met. It is clear the authors understand how difficult it can be working with stakeholders. The elicitation techniques account for stakeholders who have no idea what they are looking, to those that think they know what they want but need convinced otherwise, because they don't have a full picture of the context yet.

The attention given to non-functional requirements was great. I have seen some requirements books that mention them but stay within the context of functional requirements. This book has a full chapter on them and treats them throughout the rest of the book as first class citizens. The reason I mention this is, that as a software architect, the non-functional (quality attributes) are what I am interested in during the architecture phase.

One of the things I really like about the book is that it includes the entire Volere Requirements Specification in one the appendices. My one gripe with the book is that you have to pay $55 to download the electronic version of the template from the author's web site.

The authors do a really great job of covering the full requirements gathering process using a case study. They cover a ton of deliverables and they cover them in depth.

One of the other things I found really cool was the Requirements Knowledge Model. It shows the collected knowledge you gain throughout the requirements process It also provides a common language to use for managing and communicating requirements.

The reason I found this to be so cool is that the number one thing documenting a system does for me is give me the detailed knowledge I need to understand it. More problems are usually found trying to communicate a system to different stakeholders than are found just running it.

Overall I found this book easy to read and understand. The authors have a great writing style.

If you have anything to do with requirements, no matter the process, this book belongs on your shelf.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great reference even for a seasoned project manager 7 mai 2013
Par Tom G - Publié sur
After spending the last 20 years assembling project requirements I was amazed at how much I learned from this book that could have improved my project deliverables. Simple things such as requirements traceability to people and use cases, fit criteria for proper measurement and customer ratings to help determine what needs to be included or could be excluded from a project. Often times the business' sense of urgency drives the process and project forward without a solid foundation of requirements. This is a mistake and in most cases results in under-performing, late and over budgeted results. It is critical that the stakeholders be educated on the process and the value it provides when done properly. If you are new to the requirements process I would highly recommend this book.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most comprehensive book on the topic 4 novembre 2012
Par Stephen J. Mellor - Publié sur
(And at 500 pages, so it should be!)

This book covers everything you wanted to know about requirements and a fair bit of stuff you didn't know--yet--that you needed. Whether you're building a large "documentation heavy" project or a lean agile one, you still need requirements. The template outlined in this book covers all aspects of requirements that you may need, but you don't need to fill them all out. If all you need are a few functional requirements and a few statements about look-and-feel, great! This book will tell you how best to establish what they are, identify people who have an interest in them, refine the requirements and state them clearly so you can test them. What's this weird little section down here on Security? Hmm. Maybe, we _do_ have security requirements....

Similarly, the "snow card" is a complete set of attributes you may need to consider for a single requirement. If you're used to writing "stories" on an index card, the snow card is a way to ensure you captured everything of interest. Do you always need all the attributes? I can't tell you. But I can tell it's worth asking if, for example, there are reasons why a stakeholder might be seriously unhappy if you don't supply that feature.

In short, if it's useful in requirements engineering, you'll find it here. Do you need to read every word? No. There are helpful pointers to other sections in the book. And you'll always find a few nuggets there. All-in-all, well worth the time.

-- stephen mellor

Full disclosure notice: I have worked on-and-off with the Robertsons over 25 years. We worked together recently on modifying requirements coursework for a system-engineering audience. And I was a reviewer on this third edition of the book. That's how come I know it's worth the candle.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Go-To Book For Requirements 27 juin 2013
Par Earl Beede - Publié sur
OK, first I have to admit I didn't read each and every page of the third edition of this book. I did read all of the first and second and every page as a reviewer of this edition but not the final book. I actually didn't think the third was much of an improvement over the second when I reviewed it so I was waiting with great anticipation for the final release of the third.
I actually didn't think the third was coming out! When I reviewed the second edition for the authors, they sent me a copy of the book. I didn't get a copy of this book so I thought they had given up.
On a whim, I checked Amazon and, lo, there it was so I bought a copy and I am really pleased with the book. They improved it in all the right places from the review draft. They get the importance of non-functional parts of the requirement (they call it fit criteria). They understand that the key thing is understanding the problem, not just what is asked for. They have done a reasonable job of discussion for both agile and sequential projects. They make requirements measurable and traceable. They put my name four (4) places in the book and spelled it correctly in three (3)!
Well done! Mastering the Requirements 3rd ed. is now the go-to book I will recommend to my clients... until I write one! I think Suzanne Robertson and James Robertson are safe in the recommendation.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I was delighted to see the topics and concepts close to my ... 5 juillet 2014
Par Rajiv Desai - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The right treatment to the most significant process area; The authors have gone into depth and brought modernity in thoughts with traditional and successful approach. Must read for every advanced business analysts. When I was reading this book at the 37th year of my professional career, I was delighted to see the topics and concepts close to my heart.
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