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Mastering Software Project Requirements

Mastering Software Project Requirements

A Framework for Successful Planning, Development & Alignment
By Barbara Davis
Hardcover, 6x9, 296 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60427-091-4
September 2013

Availability: In stock

Retail Price: $64.95
Direct Price: $54.95
This book is also available as an ebook

Read the Reviews

Mastering Software Project Requirements is an eye-opening look inside the world of requirements analysis that outlines the main reasons software and IT projects fail, and then shows how to succeed. It explains why requirements analysis is much more than just a list of features, and details multiple strategies and tactics to create the right requirements for any project.”
Vincent Serpico, CEO, Spotlight Software


“Mastering Software Project Requirements is a fabulous book that should appeal to and provide value for novices and experts alike.  The breadth of what it covers is pretty remarkable for a book this size.  While I found literally every section had something very useful to offer, the chapter on 'Establishing Metrics and Benchmarks' is particularly interesting and brimming with potential.  This is an area that is so incredibly important ("you can't control what you can't measure" – DeMarco), and yet so rarely do you open a book on business analysis or requirements these days and find anything significant on the topic.  True to form, the author lays out a pragmatic approach for establishing a requirements measurement framework that any organization could adopt – regardless of their maturity in the area.

After taking you through a journey from 'Defining the Business Need, Vision, and Mission' all the way through 'Elicitation', 'Analysis', 'Specification' and 'Validation' of the solution requirements, you then find a fantastic section on how all these requirements practices are adjusted/bent/shaped/twisted when applied in contrasting real-world situations.  One thing is obvious when reading this book—the author is relating lessons that were learned the hard way, and is doing the reader a favor by passing them on.  If you're a business analyst, new to the role or experienced, do yourself a favor - and read this book.”

Tony Higgins, VP Product Marketing, Blueprint Software Systems

 

About the Item
This book is a concise step-by-step guide to building and establishing the frameworks and models for the effective management and development of software requirements. It describes what great requirements must look like and who the real audience is for documentation. It then explains how to generate consistent, complete, and accurate requirements in exacting detail following a simple formula across the full life cycle from vague concept to detailed design-ready specifications.

Mastering Software Project Requirements will enable business analysts and project managers to decompose high-level solutions into granular requirements and to elevate their performance through due diligence and the use of better techniques to meet the particular needs of a given project without sacrificing quality, scope, or project schedules.
Key Features
  • Identifies the attributes of good requirements and illustrates the life cycle from elicitation to analysis, specification to validation, explaining how to estimate, measure, benchmark, plan, manage, and deliver great software project requirements
  • Presents a solid and reproducible framework for generating great requirements within the parameters of a specific project or enterprise architecture methodology and in projects that are agnostic of methodology
  • Explains how various methodologies impact the results of requirements activities and provides strategies for adapting and aligning requirements activities to project frameworks and corresponding methodologies (Agile, Waterfall, WAgile, TOGAF and DO-178) to ensure the integrity of the requirements is maintained across multiple project frameworks
  • Covers every shred of requirements documentation that a business analyst or project manager will consume and produce, as well as the context and audience of each artifact and deliverable created
  • Re-defines the requirements process in pragmatic detail, and enables technology and business organizations to: reduce operating costs, increase alignment between technology products and business needs, and maximize return on investment of every implemented business solution by providing detailed task descriptions, key performance indicators, and benefits realization planning
  • WAV offers downloadable templates for every aspect of requirements including estimation, and provides materials for academic instruction — available from the Web Added Value™ Download Resource Center at www.jrosspub.com
  • About the Author(s)
    Barbara Davis is President of RQX Global Training & Consulting, LLC, an organization that provides technology management and profit management solutions for projects, resources, portfolios, and IT services. Mrs. Davis is a proven thought leader and expert in business analysis, project management, and various aspects of IT management and business. She has been a champion of business analysis and technology standards and infrastructure for the past 13 years, during which time she developed the world’s first university accredited business analysis diploma program, proprietary resource maturity and requirements methodologies, and a global online business analysis training program.

    Prior to entering the technology field, Barbara gained more than 15 years of functional business experience in operational management, project management, change management, and training. She currently works with Fortune 500 companies to align business analysis services, critical projects, and operational infrastructure to ensure successful outcomes in the face of conflict and very challenging circumstances. Davis is also an international speaker and author of Managing Business Analysis Services: A Framework for Sustainable Projects and Corporate Success (2012).
    Table of Contents
    PREFACE

    SECTION I: IDENTIFYING & UNDERSTANDING THE BUSINESS SOLUTION

    CHAPTER 1: IDENTIFYING THE SOLUTION
        Defined Verses Undefined Solution Starting Points
        Defining the Business Need, Vision & Mission
        Managing to the Exception
        Understanding Business Architecture
        Benefits Realization Planning

    CHAPTER 2: STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT & MANAGEMENT
        The Seinfeld Approach to Requirements
        Setting & Managing Expectations
        Beyond RACI: Getting Sponsors, Business Owners and User Groups Involved
        RACI Matrix
        Why Some People Contribute and Others Don’t
        Why Opportunity Alone Does Not Equal Contribution and Increase Participation
        Types of Participation
        Creating the Right Conditions and Environment Increases Participation
        Informational Activities
        Input Funnels

    SECTION II: REQUIREMENTS PLANNING & MANAGEMENT

    CHAPTER 3: THE EVOLUTION OF REQUIREMENTS ON A PROJECT
        Inherent Project Risks to Requirements
        Risks from Project Inception
        Risks from Project Resources
        5 Critical Requirements Steps That Get Missed: What Business Analysts Are Not Doing (Consistently)
        Research
        Gap Assessment (vs. Gap Analysis)
        Ambiguity Management
        Requirements Validation
        Facilitated Sign-Off
        Quantifying Effectiveness of Requirements Activities
        The Golden Rules of Requirements
        Attributes of Great Requirements

    CHAPTER 4: REQUIREMENTS MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
       Developing a Requirements Management Strategy
       Planning Requirements Management
       Preparing for Requirements Management
       Requirements Management Activities
       Tools and Techniques for Requirements Management
       Traceability
       Change Control
       Ambiguity Management
       Requirements Management Tool
       Naming & Numbering Conventions

    CHAPTER 5: ESTABLISHING METRICS & BENCHMARKS
       Inputs for Metrics and Benchmarking
       Outputs as Quantifiable Results
       Measuring Requirements Effectiveness
       Calculating the Requirements Effectiveness Index
       Calculating the Requirements Quality Index
       Calculating the Requirements Productivity Index
       Business Priority & Criticality
       Functional Complexity
       Estiminating Requirements Activities

    SECTION III: ALL THINGS REQUIREMENTS

    CHAPTER 6: ELICITATION
       From Business Objective and Problem, to Scope and Requirements
       Inputs & Outputs of Elicitation
       Knowing Where to Find Sources for Requirements
       Why Each Source Is Valuable in Elicitation
       Tribal Knowledge
       Project Scope
       Project Charter
       Project Plan
       High Level Requirements
       Business Architecture Documentation
       Enterprise Architecture Documentation
       What Information Is Collected During Elicitation?
       The Risks of Excluding Business Analysts in Implementing COTS
       How Is This Information Used During Elicitation?
       What Artifacts and Deliverable Will Be Created In Elicitation?
       High- to Mid-Level Requirements Evolution (Refinement)
       Tools and Techniques for Defining the Future State
       Business Process Modeling
       Business Rule Scope and Dependencies
       Who Will Use the Artifacts and Deliverables From Elicitation?
       How Are the Artifacts and Deliverables from Elicitation Used?
       Tasks & Activities of Eliciting Requirements
       Joint Application Development (JAD) Sessions

    CHAPTER 7: ANALYSIS
       Inputs & Outputs for Analysis
       How Is This Information Used During Analysis
       Business Process Models
       Current State Definition
       Future State Definition Outline
       Business Architecture
       Enterprise Architecture
       What Artifacts Are Created During Analysis?
       Scenario Definition
       Gap Analysis
       Cause and Effect Tables
       Who Will Use the Artifacts & Deliverables?
       How Will the Artifacts & Deliverables Be Used?
       Gap Analysis
       Scenarios
       Activity Diagrams
       Use Case Definition Outlines
       Cause and Effect Tables
       Exit Criteria For Analysis

    CHAPTER 8: SPECIFICATION
       Writing Testable Requirements
       Inputs/Outputs of Specification
       What Artifacts and Deliverables are Created in Specification?
       Requirements Document
       Who Signs Off on Low Level Requirements?
       Finalized Business Rules
       Business Rules Refinement
       Use Case Definition/Refinement
       Who Will Use the Artifacts and Deliverables from Specification?
       How the Artifacts and Deliverables from Specification can be Utilized – Contributed by James Canter
       Tasks and Activities of the Specification Stage
       Business Rules
       Low-Level Requirements Document
       Individual Requirement Structure
       Updating Use Cases
       Future State Definition Refinement
       Exit Criteria for Specification

    CHAPTER 9: VALIDATION
       Inputs & Outputs of Validation
       What Artifacts & Deliverables Are Created in Validation?
       Who Signs Off on Validation?
       Requirement Traceability
       Tasks & Activities In Validation
       Assessing Business Criticality and Priority
       Techniques for Validating Requirements
       Cause & Effect (Decision) Tabling
       Scenarios
       Use Cases
       Ambiguity Reviews and Tracking
       Tools and Techniques for Ambiguity Reviews
       Ambiguity Workshops
       Numbering Requirements
       Facilitated Sign-Off of Requirements
       Exit Criteria for Requirements Validation

    SECTION IV: IN CONTEXT OF PROJECT & ARCHITECTURE METHODOLOGIES

    CHAPTER 10: IMPLICATIONS OF AGILE ON REQUIREMENTS
       Misconceptions About Agile
       Impacts of Agile on Requirements
       Strengths of Agile
       Risks of Agile SDLC

    CHAPTER 11: IMPLICATIONS OF WATERFALL ON REQUIREMENTS
       Misconceptions About Waterfall
       Impacts of Waterfall on Requirements
       Using Waterfall to Manage Change
       Change Management
       Change Control
       Strengths of Waterfall
       Risks of Waterfall SDLC

    CHAPTER 12: IMPLICATIONS OF WAGILE ON REQUIREMENTS
       Misconceptions About WAgile
       Impacts of WAgile on Requirements
       Strengths of WAgile
       Risks of WAgile SDLC

    CHAPTER 13: IMPLICATIONS OF TOGAF ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE ON REQUIREMENTS
       Misconceptions About TOGAF
       Impacts of TOGAF on Requirements
       Strengths of TOGAF EA Methodology
       Risks of TOGAF EA Methodology

    CHAPTER 14: HOW BUSINESS ANALYSIS CAN LEVERAGE DO-178C AVIATION ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS
       DO-178 Framework
       Software Planning Process
       Software Development Process
       Software Requirements Process
       Software Design Process
       Software Coding Process
       Integration Process
       Traceability
       Correctness, Confidence and Control Process
       Verification
       Configuration Management
       Quality Assurance
       Transferrable DO-178 Elements (Applicability & Implications To Commercial Software)
       Strengths of DO-178

    APPENDIX A: WRITING EFFECTIVE EMAILS

    APPENDIX B: SAMPLE DOCUMENT TEMPLATES
       Ambiguity Log Content Sample
       BA Deliverables and Artifacts Index Content Sample
       Business Rules Content Sample
       Change Control Log Document Content Sample
       Current State Document Content Sample
       Future State Definition Document Content Sample
       GAP Analysis Content Sample
       High Level Requirements Document Content Sample
       Requirements Document Content Sample
       Requirements Risk Assessment Document Content Sample

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