Structured Requirements Guidelines

The following general guidelines can help you become successful with your requirements planning projects:

  • Aim for approximately 30 externally facing requirements per project for manageability. Treat large projects as several smaller ones.
  • Each requirement should have a maximum of 10 or so scenarios for manageability. Break it out into sub-requirements if necessary.
  • Each scenario should have at most 10 to 20 discrete steps.
  • Estimate 2 to 4 man-weeks of pure development time per scenario in a normal external-facing requirement.
  • Assume a 1:1 ratio of development time to test time.

Planning of Requirements Analysis Projects

The planning of new requirements analysis management project is not an easy task. This originates from the fact that it is always difficult to plan project in a new domain. It is not easy to find adequate advice.

The planning of a new release with adapted requirements should be more easy, especially if you still have the metrics available of the previous release.

Planning of a New Project

First of all, you need a decision maker who holds the budget. In discussion with him you decide on 1 or 2 other people with domain knowledge. The three of you hold within 2 weeks 2 or 3 sessions lead by a workshop facilitator and seconded by a scribe. See also business requirements project roles. The result must be:

  • The primary goal, detailed inSMART terms;
  • A list of open issues.

The SMART terms mean:

  • S: Specific
  • M: Measurable
  • A: Attainable
  • R: Realistic
  • T: Timely

The workshops will discuss things from global to detailed, and from 'Need that now' 'Later': must, need and want to have. Also, the discussion should focus on phasing and structuring of the project: What first, and what later, and what can be done in parallel and what not.

Than in another 2 weeks time, a planning can be made for the primary goal, and some remarks about the other stuff. This ends the milestone for the Go/No Go decision. Take for a start 2 hours per required specification, and see what that gets you.

A New Release

For a new release one should first hold a workshop like in the new project situation. However, the situation is less complicated because the is much information available: content as well as metrics. Following the new project schema should suffice.

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