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This chapter is from the book

Reviewing the Requirements

The quality gateway exists to keep bad requirements out of the specification—it does this one requirement at a time. Nevertheless, at the point when you think your requirements specification is complete (or as complete as you need it for the next activity), you should review it. This final review checks that there are no missing requirements, that all the requirements are consistent with one another, and that any conflicts between the requirements have been resolved. In short, the review confirms that the specification is really complete and suitable so that you can move on to the next stage of development.

This review also offers you an opportunity to reassess the costs and risks of the project. Now that you have a complete set of requirements, you know a lot more about the product than you did at the project blastoff. In particular, you have a much more precise knowledge of the scope and functionality of the product, so this is a good time to remeasure its size. From that size, and from your knowledge of the project’s constraints and solution architecture, you can estimate the cost to construct the product.

You also know at this stage which types of requirements are associated with the greatest risks. For example, the users might have asked for an interface that your organization has not built before. Or perhaps they want to use untried technology to build the product. Perhaps the developer might not have the people with the skills needed to build the product as specified? By reassessing the risks at this point, you give yourself a more realistic chance of building the desired product successfully.

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