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Requirements and Specifications

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A quick summary of how to create project requirements and specifications.

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Requirements and Specifications

  1. 1. Requirements and Specifications<br />Chris Warren<br />cwarren@williams.edu<br />x4323 Jesup 312<br />
  2. 2. Matrix of Awareness<br />Other<br />Known<br />Unknown<br />known knowns<br />- what you bring<br />known unknowns<br />- what you know you have to learn<br />Known<br />Self<br />unknown knowns<br /><ul><li>what you deny
  3. 3. untapped skills</li></ul>unknown unknowns<br />- aliens attack<br />Unknown<br />
  4. 4. Cognitive Bias<br />mental tendencies or shortcuts<br />often handy, but<br />can lead you astray<br />keep them in mind<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases<br />
  5. 5. Why Requirements<br />know what you need to do<br />know what you don’t need to do<br />know when you’re done<br />evaluate the cost of change<br />part contract, part guide<br />
  6. 6. Writing Requirements<br />keep your audience in mind<br />non-techy<br />clear and unambiguous<br />define things as needed<br />detailed, but not too detailed<br />identify core/key aspects<br />include why’s as well as what’s<br />
  7. 7. Collaborative Creation<br />Creating the requirements is a collaborative effort between the sponsor and the developers<br />What does the client bring?<br />What do you bring?<br />
  8. 8. Scope<br />not just a mouthwash...<br />the boundaries of the project<br />what you do have to do<br />what you don’t have to do<br />be careful of scope change!<br />scope creep : more and more features<br />under-definition : forgot to include<br />sequence chains : getting side-tracked<br />
  9. 9. Specifications<br />similar to requirements, but<br />more technical<br />more for internal use<br />more of a living document<br />a technical interpretation of the requirements<br />usually still verified with the client<br />transitions to a more formal project management paradigm<br />
  10. 10. What’s in the Specs?<br />project summary<br />project stakeholders<br />content description<br />desires<br />deliverables<br />scope limits<br />special workflows<br />See the handout!<br />
  11. 11. What do you do with the specs?<br />keep them handy for reference<br />keep them up to date as things change<br />add to them as needed<br />use them as the basis for your work plan<br />

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