This quick post is just to share an article I came across that I thought might be beneficial, especially to the relatively new analyst. “Specifying Good Requirements“, by Donald Firesmith, includes some good, basic information about requirement quality assurance.
Basically, the article consists of a list of common requirement quality attributes (you know.. complete, correct, unambiguous, etc.) accompanied by questions that can be used as a checklist to ensure that your requirements meet the criteria of each attribute.
Firesmith points out,
[J]ust as we all had to learn the rules for writing grammatically correct English, we also have to learn the rules for writing high-quality requirements. And just as not everyone who can read and write can also author a publishable book, not everyone who can write individual requirements can organize them into a high quality requirements specification. Whereas the rules for properly specifying individual requirements are relatively easy to use once you learn them, experience shows that they are also not obvious to most people who actually specify real requirements on real projects.
Considering that these rules may not be obvious to most, I thought I’d do my part and share the “good word”.
Firesmith admits that the information he provides is really a summary of information that is readily available from many other texts and training. There is nothing new or groundbreaking here, but a quick scan of the article may provide some insight on things that you could be doing a little better.
Donald Firesmith: “Specifying Good Requirements”, in Journal of Object Technology, vol. 2, no. 4, July-August 2003, pp. 77-87. http://www.jot.fm/issues/issue_2003_07/column7