What does it take to get software requirements right?

by Don Lowe
CEO

September 27, 2018
Reading Time: 2 minutes

What does it take to get control over your software  project?

Every CEO or person in charge of a software project needs a strong development team who they can trust to deliver results. Otherwise costs can go through the roof and you may have very little to show for it. Work is having to be re-done, resulting in constant delays. Frustration builds as everyone involved loses trust in each other.

MVP resources for idea validation

​Terminology

We call detailed requirements "user scenarios and acceptance tests" or US and AT. ​You may also hear them referred to as “stories”.

What you need are clearly written requirements so that you can develop and manage your project in an effective way. Writing requirements (US&ATs) takes time and effort but if you have a good structure and a process in place, you won’t lose focus.

Here are some patterns to follow to get you off to a good start:

​User scenario example

​“As a ​customer I want to ​​log into my account​​​ so that ​I can see my order history.”

​Acceptance testing examples

​“As a ​customer I will ​log into my account to confirm that ​correct login details give me the order history.”

“​As a customer I will log into my account to confirm that incorrect login details does not give me the order history."

The benefits of functional requirements

Some of the benefits of well-formed requirements (US&AT) are that they are more understandable and clearly state the capability that the customer needs. Also the development team should be able to give you a rough time and cost estimate,necessary to create the capability.

So well defined requirements have a direct impact on your software development investment.

Turning things around can seem like an overwhelming task if your project is already struggling due to the complications of poorly written requirements. However, there is help to be had. Qualified business analysts and consultants can help you sort out your US & ATs to get your project moving in the right direction again.

If you have any further questions about writing user scenarios and acceptance tests you can always contact us. We are happy to help.