Software Requirements (Anglais) Broché – 15 août 2013
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Joy Beatty, a leader in the software requirements community, has trained thousands of business analysts and helped major organizations build business-analysis centers of excellence. She is coauthor of Visual Models for Software Requirements.
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So when I heard that Karl and Joy were co-writing the 3rd Edition of Software Requirements I was elated! The information provided in the new book is current, easy to understand, and so very relevant. Real-life examples and humor have been weaved throughout the book which makes it a very interesting read.
I recommend this book as an essential reference guide for anyone involved in software development, not just analysts. All roles should know about business analysis as it relates to system design and software development. This will be a book that you will refer to time after time.
It provides an analysis of stakeholders and functional vs nonfunctional requirements that was surprisingly informative. We throw those terms around all the time, but rarely consider a formal definition. This book looks at a variety of options, and the one you choose will guide your thinking throughout requirements analysis and harvsting.
It covers everything you need to establish your requirements for the waterfall method, though it features substantial information on agile. If you are new to agile, and need ideas on how to gather the backlog, or if you've been using a while but don't feel the backlog is as complete as it should be, grab this book and a notepad. It covers a host of sources that are easy to overlook
It is very, very dry reading, which is the only reason it is four stars and not five. I found it hard to stay focused once in a while, and needed a caffeine boost to keep going. There is an attempt in the beginning to be humorous, but that is quickly lost. It is a little poorly organized. The topic sentence does not always guide the reader to the topic under discussion. You'll need to reset your focus a few times during the book, but it's worth it. The first two editions are often considered required reading for project managers, and the third lives up to that august reputation.
The book is written in a flow that helps an analyst see what needs to be done from the point when an idea is first considered, to when it becomes the subject of a project, all the way through the project completion. Not all techniques work well with all types of projects, though, so the book includes sections describing adaptations of the material discussed and the specific needs of particular types of projects. They cover agile, enhancement and replacement, packaged solution, outsourced, business process automation, business analytics, and embedded and real-time projects.
While it’s a healthy-sized tome at more than 600 pages, the book is well organized and specific topics are easy to access individually. Most business analysts would benefit from reading it cover to cover, though, at least once!
The organization of the book, the emphasis on the role of a business analyst, and an in-depth requirements discovery and development roadmap are some of the key strengths of this edition. The first part sets the context and introduces a few best practices for requirements engineering. This is essential, and in my view applicable to all roles involved in software development.
Part II of the book covers the requirements development process, best practices in-depth for both waterfall and agile projects. As you read through this section, you will realize that the best practices are truly methodology agnostic, and imperative regardless of the business analysis approach.
One of the big challenges of a requirements practitioner is how to tailor the requirements discovery and development process for different projects, and Part III of the book precisely addresses this facet. This was something that always wished that a book would contain as I continue to work on different kinds of projects as a lead business analysis practitioner.
I was also pleased to see an entire section of the book devoted to requirements management aspect (Part IV). There is succinct and usable information that covers processes, best practices and tools that are invaluable for effective requirements management.
The last part looks at the requirements process improvement that can be useful for Requirements CoEs (Center of Excellence) or practice groups within organizations.
With comprehensive coverage of the requirements development processes, best practices and tools, this is a must-have book in your reference library; to both upgrade your knowledge and also advance your craft as a business analysis or requirements engineering practitioner.
Software Requirements is well written with sufficient detail yet without being verbose. While it is a great reference for business analysts who work on a variety of types of projects, it is broadly applicable to people in other roles such as testers, developers, and architects. BAs are likely to read it cover to cover while others will use it more as a reference. I definitely recommend it to those in IT looking to improve their knowledge of the overall software requirements process.