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This chapter is from the book

The Process

The requirements process is not applicable just to new products you are developing from the ground up. Most product development that is done today is aimed at maintaining or enhancing an existing product or at making a major overhaul to an existing product or suite of products. A lot of today's development involves commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products, open source products, or other types of componentware. Whatever your development method, understanding the requirements for the final outcome is still necessary.

Let's look briefly at each of the activities. Subsequent chapters cover them in more detail. The intention of this chapter is to give you a gentle introduction to the process, its components, its deliverables, and the ways that they fit together. If you want more detail on any of the activities, feel free to jump to the relevant chapter before completing this overview.

As we go through the process, we describe it as if you were working with a brand-new product—that is, starting from scratch. We take this tack simply to avoid becoming entangled in the constraints that are part of all maintenance projects. For the latter kind of project, look ahead to Chapter 15, Whither Requirements?, where we discuss projects that are already under way and projects where the requirements are changing.

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