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[19 Mar 2013 | Comments Off on Formal Requirements Modeling Languages: RML Revisited | ]

Requirements Modeling Language (RML) offers a notation for requirements modeling which combines object-orientation and organization, with an assertional sublanguage used to specify constraints and deductive rules. RML provides both an object-centered modeling framework and an ontology for requirements modeling.

[5 Feb 2013 | Comments Off on Customer Input For a Successful Product | ]

Studies in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), User Centered Design (UCD) and User Experience Design (UED) have found that accurate and frequent customer input is essential for a successful software product. Knowing who your customers are, what their environment is like, and what their needs are gives you the information required to plan and design a product.

[14 Jan 2013 | 2 Comments | ]

As companies transition to Agile and Scrum to manage their software development projects, how does this affect the work of business analysts? Nancy Nee, VP Global Product Strategy at ESI International, shares her opinion on the role of business analysts in Agile software development projects and how this approach impacts the requirement gathering activity. She also provides some input on how to handle conflict between stakeholders.

[9 Jan 2013 | Comments Off on Asking Open-Ended Questions | ]

Getting the important business needs out of the requirements gathering process should be the goal of every business analyst. In this article, Karl Wiegers discusses the benefits of asking open-ended questions during requirements specification. They are especially useful to discover exceptions to the normal process behaviour. You are then able to determine and describe how the system should detect and respond to an error. The last question he asks during a requirements elicitation meeting is: “Is there anything else I should be asking you?”

[6 Nov 2012 | Comments Off on Ordering the Product Backlog | ]

In this article, Brent Reid discusses the fact that in Scrum, the product backlog should be ordered and not prioritized. His point is that priority has a meaning only within a certain context. Thus what is high priority one day could be low priority in the future. Thus, the product owner must deliver a totally ordered Product Backlog, even if it is difficult to make such decisions. However, as Brent Reid wrote it: “this clearly places the responsibility of resolving the problem on the product owner instead of on the …

[12 Sep 2012 | Comments Off on Relating Requirements to Implementation via Topic Analysis | ]

Large organizations like Microsoft tend to rely on formal requirements documentation in order to specify and design the software products that they develop. These documents are meant to be tightly coupled with the actual implementation of the features they describe.

[24 Aug 2012 | One Comment | ]

A recent Methods & Tools survey was dedicated to the software tools used to manage software requirements. The following question was asked: “How does your project manage the definition of requirements (text, user stories, models,…)?” Here are the answers:

[10 Jul 2012 | Comments Off on Stop Gathering Requirements | ]

The concept of “gathering requirements” comes from the premise that there are requirements out there someplace that the business analyst has to find. But do users or stakeholders really have requirements? In this article, Steve Blais says that users don’t have requirements, so business analysts have to stop gathering requirements. His opinion is that user have business problem to solve. Requirements are defined or created by the business analyst as a possible solution to a business problem. The requirements document is the representation of the complete and accurate statement of …

[6 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Successful Feature Injection | ]

Feature injection is a business analysis approach that focuses on business value, an approach similar to Behavior Driven Development (BDD). It transfers knowledge to the team about how the project can deliver value and what are the features needed to deliver that value. Examples are used to transfer this information to the team in the form with the goal to eliminate the waste of separate requirements specifications and tests. Why is it call Feature Injection? Because “The process of pulling value from a project injects features into the system”.

[14 May 2012 | Comments Off on Templates for Software Requirements | ]

What do you document and how much should you document? This question is often present in software development projects and even more now with Agile approaches. This article presents a template for managing software requirements and software problems. This templates have been validated within the industry in various parts of the world.