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This chapter is from the book

The Snow Card

Whereas the template is a guide to what to write about, the snow card is a guide to how to write it. Individual requirements have a structure—a set of attributes, where each attribute contributes something to your understanding of the requirement, and to the precision of the requirement, and thereby to the accuracy of the product’s development.

Before we go any further, we must point out that although we call this device a card, and we use cards in our courses, and this book is sprinkled with diagrams featuring this card, we are not advocating writing all your requirements on cards. Some good things can be realized by using cards when interviewing stakeholders and quickly scribbling requirements as they come to light. Later, these requirements are recorded in some electronic form; at that time, their component information is filled in. Thus any reference to “card” should be taken to mean (probably) a computerized version.

At first glance, the card might seem rather bureaucratic. (See Figure 2.9.) We are not seeking to add to your requirements burden, but rather to provide a way of accurately and conveniently gathering the needed information—each of the attributes of the snow card makes a contribution. We shall explain these as we work our way through this book.

Figure 2.9

Figure 2.9. The requirements shell or snow card, consisting of a 5-inch by 8-inch card, printed with the requirement’s attributes, that is used for our initial requirements gathering. Each of the attributes contributes to the understanding and testability of the requirement. Although a copyright notice appears on the card, we have no objections to any reader making use of it for his or her requirements work, provided the source is acknowledged.

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