Management Requirements Engineering Process Term Paper

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[. . .] When we have a poor specification it fails the validation in spite of successful verification process. Mistakes in the specification process are translated into the software design ultimately leading to the finished product, which does not cater to the actual user needs. [Steeve Easterbrook]


The implementation of the project as per the scheduled date depends on the proper specification report and the proper integration of the same in the design and development phase of the project. It is necessary to ascertain the correctness of the design by conducting periodic testing and validation. If the requirements specification is bad it will invariably show up during the validation process. This would necessitate redoing the whole process of gathering information to prepare a correct requirement specification that is consistent in all the stages of the project. This implies that a bad specification report would postpone the implementation phase indefinitely as the whole software development life cycle has to be repeated. It is needless to mention that the operational costs of such a project is exorbitant.

Risk Management

Risk engineering is an integral part of the software development process. "Project risk is the probability that the project will fail to meet the needs of the business at completion." [Lou Rusell] Risk analysis involves three primary activities such as identifying, estimating and evaluating risks. Risk analysis is a continuous process, which extends throughout the project development life cycle. Unrealistic schedules, budgets, Gold plating, Continuous requirement changes and Real time performance shortfalls are some of the risk items involved in software development. [Barry Boehm]

Requirement Management Tools lot of tools are available to help us in assessing the system requirements at every level of abstraction. These tools assist us in arriving at a better specification report and save considerable amount of time. AnalystPro, Rational requisite pro, Core, Doors, Slate are some of the prominent Requirements management tools that are widely used. One special aspect of these RM tools is that they greatly help in coordinating the different groups working on the project thereby eliminating the ambiguity and making the specification more transparent. []

Requirements management tools reduce the cost of project significantly. As a practical case in point let us consider Citipower Corporation. The company used the 'Requisite pro' tool as part of its requirements analysis process together with analysts in preparing the requirements specification document for its 'Full Retail Contestability' project. Citipower managed to save around $6,30,000 by using the requisite pro-tool, which is a considerable saving, compared to purely manual analysis. [Stephen] For a project to be successful it is necessary that the requirements specification is transparent and clear to the entire team working on the project. Using a tractability matrix we can ensure that the requirements propagate throughout the entire design stage and that the requirements at a higher level are based on those of the lower level. Tools like PSL (Problem Statement Language) / Problem Statement Analyzer (PSA) have completely automated the generation of the requirements specification part of the project. The project management task has become much easier with these tools, which take care of project as well as the product related information. [Fairley Richard, 115]

Different software architectures can be used to solve a particular problem and hence it rests with the project team to select the best among them. Requirements management extends beyond the process of specifying the needs of the users as it also includes information pertaining to the software structures that are appropriate for the particular project. All these aspects are part of the requirements management. According to Rick Kazman, (SEI Interactive Corporation), "Each requirement suggests certain architectural structures and rules other ones out. I will choose one set of architectural structures over another because I know that it's a good architecture for being able to predict and control end-to-end latency or throughput, or that it's a good architecture for high availability." [Thomas Bill]


Requirements engineering process is fundamental for the success of any project. Rather than spend huge amounts of money for reworking the whole project it is prudent and cost effective to identify and rectify the problems early in the project development life cycle. The modern requirements management tools have added great value to the requirement specification process by handling the requirements of the different level of people who are involved in the project such as the project managers, testers, designers, etc. This ensures clear-cut requirements specification, which in turn contributes greatly to the ease and manageability of the project. There is no question of doubt that the benefits derived from proper requirements assessment approach would outweigh the costs incurred and the time invested is worth the effort, as it would eliminate the need for reworking the entire project.


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Products Through Smart Requirements Management" Amacom, September 2000, pg 3

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Iain M. Tolmie', "An IT Consultant's Perspective on Project Failures and the Cost Effective Resolution of Disputes" Accessed on August 29th, 2003,

Boehm, Barry, "Industrial Software Metrics Top 10 List," IEEE Software 4, 5 September 1987, pp. 84-85.

9) 'Best Practices', IEEE Software, Vol. 15, No. 3, June 1998

The Standish Group International, "The chaos Report," Accessed on August 28th, 2003,

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Steeve Easterbrook, "The Role of Independent V & V in Upstream Software Development Process," Accessed on august 30th, 2003

Dr. Barry W. Boehm, "Software Risk Management: Principles and Practices,

IEEE Software, Vol. 9, No.1, January 1991, pp.32-39

Lou Rusell, "Disaster Looks Good to Me: Validating Technical Requirements for Non-Technical Project Managers," Accessed on august 29th, 2003,

Accelea Communications, "Requirements Set The Mark," IT World, March 5th, 2001, Accessed on August 30th, 2003,

Macaulay, Linda, Fowler, A New Approach to Requirements Specification. Interacting with Computers, April 1990 92-118,

James F. Peters and Witold Pedrycz, "Software Engineering: An Engineering Approach," Published by John Wiley & Sons, 2000. [END OF PREVIEW]

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