Requirements Analysis

Common Business Analysis Problems

There are many problems in developing complete and accurate business requirements:

  • Users are challenged in clearly stating their requirements.
  • Analysts fall into "gathering" requirements not eliciting them.
  • Confusion between goals, business needs, requirements,
    business rules, environment constraints and specifications.
  • Common “standard” information on business
    environment needs to be re-generated for each project.
  • Real requirements not identified until
    late in the systems development process.
  • Similar requirements independently developed on multiple projects.
  • Requirements developed on project basis without
    reference to overall needs or framework.
  • Different users of requirements document have different
    needs in terms of format, content and level of detail.

Yet Accurate Requirements are Key

Requirements serve as the central hub and communications mechanism for the key groups within a project

A Suggested Approach to Requirements

Target REAL requirements

  • Elicit not gather
  • Dialog with all groups: users; product managers; developers; testers
  • Probe and assess business objectives, needs, environment, actual use

Be practical and pragmatic

  • Not limited to single format or approach
  • As appropriate we use different formats in a coordinated way: declarative requirement statements, narrative, use cases, data models, process models, and business rules
  • Use visual tools, prototypes other techniques where effort warrants

Present Information as required

  • Charter / feasibility requirements structured for management and assess fundamental fit – overview detail
  • Business requirements / scoping structured for users to assess goals / features / needs – moderate level of detail
  • Specifications for developers and testers designed to communicate and reduce ambiguity – highly detailed


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