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Requirements Pattern, A: Succeeding in the Internet Economy

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Requirements Pattern, A: Succeeding in the Internet Economy


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  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8x9-1/4
  • Pages: 528
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-201-73826-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-201-73826-1

Requirements definition is crucial to the success of any product, especially in volatile and fast­paced, Internet­based industries.

A Requirements Pattern offers a coherent and consistent approach to the entire requirements engineering process ensuring the practitioner’s success. The book covers everything from initial product concept through incremental feature implementation, offering special consideration for the unique challenges of Internet­based software development. The author presents a proven requirements framework that can be used for ensuring the quality and integrity of your requirements set. The requirements set framework coaches to elicit a complete set of requirements including those critical aspects beyond the software.

Three key themes support the information and advice put forth in this book. They are: understanding the breadth of requirements that comprise the Internet requirements set, properly managing the evolutionary process, and initiating parallel and coordinated development efforts for the Internet product.

This book examines:

  • Capturing all business communities requirements
  • Managing—through anti­patterns—common requirement­related pitfalls that results in gaps in knowledge, participation, and process
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the Internet product development
  • An important process that includes proper requirement allocation
  • Implementing requirements configuration management
  • With the wealth of knowledge and real­world experience revealed in A Requirements Pattern, you will be well equipped to develop quality Internet products that successfully improve the products’ return on investment.


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    Table of Contents


    1. What Is…

    What Is Requirements Engineering.

    Internet Requirements.

    What Is the State of Requirements Today.

    What Is Technologies Involvement.

    What Is the Path to Satisfying the Current Needs of the Business.

    What Is Internet.

    The Internet Explosion.

    Collapsed Hierarchy.

    Business Partnerships.

    New Lines of Business.

    Customer Centric.

    Profit versus Potential Revenue.

    How Does One Work with and Impact the Other.

    Understanding Requirements Engineering.

    The Common Perspective.

    Terminology — A Common Understanding.

    What Is Internet.

    What Is a Requirement.

    What Is an Internet Requirement.

    Requirement Set.

    What Is a Pattern.

    What Is a Requirements Pattern.

    What Is an Internet Requirements Pattern.

    What Is an Anti-Pattern.

    What Is an Internet Requirements Anti-Pattern.

    Requirement Specification.

    Requirement Engineer.

    Requirement Engineering.

    Requirements Management.

    What Is a Requirement Process.

    Requirement Versus Requirement Specification Versus Requirement Set.


    2. Requirement Evolution.

    The Requirement Evolution.

    The Manufacturing Process.

    The Internet Development Process.

    Requirement Development Process.

    The Birth of an Idea.

    Product Concept.

    The Business Case … Do You Belong on the Net.

    The Requirement Process.

    Requirement Allocation.

    Avoiding Politics.

    What a Process.

    Internet Evolution.

    Current Requirement Process Scenario.

    The Correlation between Allocation Level and Perspective.

    Requirements Evolving through Perspectives.

    The Requirement Subprocess.





    Approval as a Separate Activity.

    Quality Gate Checkpoints.

    Managing the Requirements and the Requirement Set.

    The Subprocess Is a Generic Process.

    Requirement Reuse.


    3. The Requirement Set.

    Requirement Category.

    Requirement Community.

    Requirement Perspective.

    Requirement Focus.

    Relationships between Categories.

    Requirement Organization.

    A Quality Home.

    Different Views of the Same House.

    Different Focuses of the Same Software Solution.

    Extensions to the Information Systems Architecture.

    Organization Impact.


    4. Internet Requirements Pattern.

    The Kick off.

    Changing Business Model.

    Understanding the Problem or Need.

    Preparing for Allocation.

    The Pattern Specifics.

    Important Communities.

    Perspective Specifics.

    Focus Details.

    Cell Association Checklist.

    Gap Analysis.


    5. Internet Requirements Antipatterns.

    Gap in Knowledge.

    Hacker Intervention <38> Other Security Issues.

    Quality of Service Impact.

    Create Read Update Delete List (Crudl).

    Gap in Participation.

    The Business Model Tolerance Indicators.

    Network Engineers Involvement.

    Gap in Process.

    Scope Creep.

    When Designers Take Over (Technology for the Sake of Technology).

    The Imposed Deadline.

    Identifying Additional Antipatterns.


    6. Requirement Quality.

    Individual Requirement Quality.

    Parts of a Requirement.

    Quality Characteristics.

    Requirement Specification Quality.

    Requirement Set Quality.

    Quality Checkpoints.

    Unit Test Versus System Test.


    Requirement Measurement.

    Prototyping the Requirements.


    7. Managing the Internet Requirement Set.

    Requirements Management Configuration Management.

    Software Engineering Institute — Capability Maturity Model.

    Level 2: Repeatable.

    Interpreting the Capability Maturity Model.

    What Is Configuration Management.

    Configuration Management for Requirements.

    Supporting the Configuration Management of Requirements.

    How to Implement RCM for Internet Type Applications.

    What to Manage Under Requirements.

    Preparing for Implementation.

    The Implementation Process.


    Reference Material.

    Additional Information.


    Requirement Supplier.

    Product Direction.

    Detail Suppliers.

    Requirement User.

    Project Manager.

    Data Warehouse Specialist.

    Database Administrator.


    Usability Engineer.

    Network Planner.

    Operations Analyst.

    Technical Architect.

    Test Analyst Quality Control Analyst.


    Writer, Editors <38> User Education.

    Requirement Supporter.


    Process Manager.

    Quality Assurance.

    Group Manager.


    Requirement Producers.

    The Power of Meeting Minutes.

    The Requirement Engineering Roles.

    The Necessary Skills the Requirement Engineering Organization.

    The Internet Organization.



    How Long Will This Take.

    How to Get Started.

    Applying the Requirement Pattern to Other Applications Types.

    Key Points to Remember.

    Sources for Additional Information.



    Web Sites.

    Recap of What the Book Discussed.


    Appendix A. Internet Requirements Pattern Specification Format.

    Appendix B. Internet Requirements Pattern (Information Technology Community).

    Appendix C. Requirements Pattern Work Breakdown Structure.

    Appendix D. Requirement Pattern Language.

    Appendix E. Requirement Pattern & Anti-Pattern Usage.




    Corporations today allocate billions of dollars to information technology (IT), not only to stay afloat but also to expand market share in the fast-paced global marketplace. The combination of hardware, software, and networks provides valuable information and performs critical functions for a corporation, its stockholders, and clients. Indeed, information technology has become the backbone of the modern corporation. Without successful and high-quality IT solutions, the success of a corporation can be compromised. Defects in IT products can result in missed market opportunities, ineffective strategic decisions, and lost market share.

    The first step toward developing, enhancing, or maintaining IT solutions is to understand the needs and wants of the business. This is the most challenging part of the entire effort. As you will discover in this book, if you get the requirements wrong, the final product will not satisfy the needs of the business. In fact, this wasted effort will cost the company greatly. The Standish Group has been following failed IT projects since 1995. Across the board, the researchers have found poor requirements, in one form or another, to be one of the top causes of costly project failures. “Poor requirements” refers to a failure to capture the needs that must be satisifed by the solution. Typically, failures in IT projects are not the fault of an individual or even a department. Nor are these failures the fault of a specific technique or tool used to gather the requirements of a project. The problem, more often, lies in misunderstanding the definition, process, practices, and management of requirements. In the end, requirements have a major impact on a project’s success. The project may be done on time and within budget, but unless the requirements are complete and accurate, the project will be a failure.

    Requirement is an ambiguous term. Different people will provide valid but different points of view, with perhaps some overlap. There lies the problem! Our individual views of requirements have been narrow, allowing for gaps that lead to defects in the final product. The final set of requirements may turn out to be full of intangible, moving targets that are inherently inconsistent. This leads to a poor-quality product, which in turn diminishes the return on investment for the corporation.

    Why This Book?The purpose of this book is to clarify this ambiguity. The book focuses on several perspectives designed to create a common understanding of requirements, from concept through implementation. The evolution, classification, and management of requirements are placed in easy-to-understand terms, so that everyone can share a common level of understanding. A framework is provided that categorizes and organizes the different types of requirements, forming a requirements set. The requirements pattern, based on the requirements set framework, is provided to assist in capturing and evolving the individual requirements. Information on the best requirement-related practices is provided to ensure the quality and integrity of the individual requirements and the requirements set.

    The ideas in A Requirements Pattern can be applied to any product (including non-IT-oriented ones). The Internet is used here primarily for illustrative purposes. This volatile environment provides many examples that clearly explain the four key topics of this book:

    1. The breadth of requirements that comprise the requirements set
    2. The evolutionary process of a requirement from the conceptual idea to the implemented feature
    3. The need to initiate parallel and coordinated requirement development efforts
    4. The impact of change (including scope creep) on Internet products

    By understanding the concepts presented, you will be able to see the gaps created with current methodologies, methods, and techniques. It is important to be able to see that requirements are not just documentation but rather a full understanding of the problem, the environment in which requirements are developed, and the delivered features of the solution.

    The generic role responsible for requirement-related activities is the requirements engineer, the primary audience for this book. Requirements engineers must have a detailed understanding of the requirements process and the valuable role requirements engineers play in maximizing the product’s return on investment. The more they understand, the better equipped they will be to tackle the nuances of the Internet.

    Technical analysts and architects many times must gather specific types of requirements and therefore will also benefit from reading this book. Each may have a different focus during the development process. It is important to realize the impact their requirements have on other areas of the project. Even if the analysts and architects are not involved in eliciting the business requirements, they will have an impact on those requirements. These personnel need to have an understanding of the evolution of the requirements from inception until they are allocated for development.

    The quality of requirements has a direct impact on the cost of the final product. It is the job of the quality control analyst to assist with validating the specified requirements for possible defects, a topic addressed in A Requirements Pattern. By understanding how to identify the quality of a requirement, quality control analysts can actively participate in validation. They contribute to the requirements process by identifying inconsistencies long before code testing.

    Many books already exist on the requirements process, techniques, and methods. Other books address what good requirements are as well as various elicitation, analysis, verification, and management techniques. Examples of such books are provided in the Additional Resources section at the back of the book. This helpful compilation provides suggestions for a continual path of education in the field of requirements engineering. The Internet requirements pattern presented in this book complements all of the recommendations by introducing readers to the basics of requirements, requirements engineering, and requirements management. Requirements engineering is an integral part of developing software. It is time consuming and at times a tedious activity. The size and type of a project seem to have little effect on the complexity of this process. The incorporation of the Internet requirements pattern (and anti-patterns) and activities described in this book will enhance the requirements engineer’s efforts. With the fuller understanding of requirements, readers can make positive impacts when developing quality solutions for their companies.

    Pat Ferdinandi
    June 2001



    A2A (application-to-application), 27
    acceptance criteria, defined, 457
    ad hoc development method
        defined, 457
         early days of Internet using, 226
    adaptability requirements, 97-98
    aka (also known as), Internet anti-patterns, 193
    Alexander, Christopher, 159-160
    allocated requirements
         business units and, 14
         defined, 457
         defining scope of responsibility for, 55
         business units and, 13-14
         defined, 457
         perspective and, 58-60
         preparing ideas for, 121-124
         of requirements, 50-52
         requirements subprocess and, 60-64
         tolerance value and, 181
         validation and, 68
    allocation levels defined, 458
         overview of, 50-52
         perspective and, 59
         using requirements management tools, 56
    also known as (aka), Internet anti-patterns, 193
    Amazon.com clickstream data of, 181-182
         customer-centric focus of, 21
         joining ToysRUs with, 9
         profits and, 177
    ambiguity, defined, 458
    analog modems, hacker attacks and, 164
    analysis. See also feasibility
         builder perspective, 415-416
         defined, 458
         designer perspective, 413
         owner perspective, 410-411
         paralysis, 210
         planner perspective, 408
         of requirements, 64-65
         as requirements subprocess role, 63
         subcontractor perspective, 418, 420
         tools for, 232-233
    analysis, gap
         overview of, 153-154
         pattern, 214
         quality-checking and, 170-171, 212-213
         anthropologists, roles/responsibilities of, 284-285
    anti-patterns. See also Internet requirements anti-patterns; requirements anti-pattern
        defined, 32, 458
        overview of, 159-161
    anti-patterns, creating, 190-197
        information to be included, 192-196
        overview of, 190-192
        review and use of, 196-197
    application-to-application (A2A), 27
        architecture of, 132-133
        Internet, 24-27
        non-Internet, 321-322
        configuration management and, 226
        tracking, 213
    approval, executive
        builder perspective, 417
        business case questions, 124
        business initiator responsibilities, 270
        designer perspective, 414-415
        owner perspective, 412
        planner perspective, 409
        requirements subprocess and, 63
        review of requirements set, 68-69
        as separate activity, 68-69
        subcontractor perspective, 419-420
        validation and, 68
    approver, authorizing changes, 245-246
        allocation level, 51-52
        application and technological,132-133
        defined, 458
        perspective of, 83-84
    ARM Quality Indicator/Quality Attribute Correlation, 217-220
    Arpanet, 2
        comparing requirement vs., 28
        defined, 458
    association, predator, 166
    association requirements
        cell association checklist for
        writing, 152-153
        defined, 55, 458
        defining for tolerance requirement, 180-181
        overview of, 109-112
    audience, changes to requirements, 245-246
    audit, configuration management, 249
    auto-response messaging, 136-137
    automotive industry, requirements, 19-20

    B2B (business-to-business). See business-to-business (B2B)
    B2C (business-to-consumer), 25-27
    B2S (business-to-staff ), 26-27
    B2W (business-to-wireless), 27
    BA (business analyst)
        requirements engineer as, 290
        role of, 294
    “based upon” clause, 193-194
    baseline management, 248, 458
    baselines, 238, 243
    BO (business organization)
        adding to infrastructure, 108-109
        overview of, 77-78
    Board of Directors, 126
    BP (business practices). See business practices (BP)
    brokerage houses, requirements, 19-20
    BS (business support)
        adding to infrastructure, 108-109
        overview of, 77-78
    bugs. See defects
    builder perspective
    builder-level prototypes, 221
        focus of, 156
        how requirements, 148-149
        objectives of, 138-139
        overview of, 86
        product constraints, 149-151
        project constraints, 151-152
        reviewing function of, 246
        role of, 294
        what requirements, 144-145
        when requirements, 146
        where requirements, 145-146
        who requirements, 143
        why requirements, 146-148
    builder perspective, IRP for IT
        community, 380-389
        how requirements, 386
        introduction, 380-381
        product constraints, 387
        project constraints, 388-389
        what requirements, 382-383
        when requirements, 384-385
        where requirements, 383-384
        who requirements, 382
        why requirements, 385
    business analyst (BA)
        requirements engineer as, 290
        role of, 294
    business cases.See also business models
        building, 46-47, 320-321
        IRP for IT community, 339-340
        questions for, 122-124
        requirements subprocess and, 62
        scoping requirements for, 47-49
    business communities
        adding to infrastructure, 105-109
        allocating requirements to, 13-14, 125
        avoiding politics of, 52-54
        defined, 13, 79, 459
        focus and, 79-80
        getting started, 320-321
        overview of, 75-79
        quality-checking with walkthroughs, 216-217
        requirements evolving through, 59-60
        ripple effect of changes, 225
        scalability and, 99-102
        security as responsibility of, 166
    business communities,
        categories of, 125-140
        business practice, 126-127


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