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Writing Better Requirements with Examples

7 January 2013 No Comment

Gathering requirements for software development is not always easy and IT guys will often complains that customers have difficulties to express what they want to achieve with a new development project. In this blog post, Lars Hoidahl discusses this topic and explains how examples and screen sketches can help to write better requirements.

He explains that examples allow writing useful requirements without too much effort. They reduce misunderstanding and thus reduce risk for the software development project. Written in specific formats, examples can also be use as a base to generate automated tests. User interfaces are a good starting point to create examples. However, prototyping can often take a long time and thus the post suggests that user interface sketches are a better tool for this approach. This sketches are the basis to discuss requirements and avoid costly mistakes that will be seen only later in the project. The conclusion is that “examples are useful for communicating with customers, as specification for programmers and UI designers and as test specification for testers. Ideally, all these groups should discuss the examples in detail together with the customer and analyst before an iteration.”

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