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Gathering and managing software project requirements

Proper software project requirements are essential to producing high-quality software. In this guide, find the best ways to define requirements and examine Agile approaches to managing those requirements.


For many projects, deciding what needs to be done is more difficult than getting it done. It doesn't matter how talented a development team is, if they're not sent out to accomplish the right goals, they can't be expected to find success. This is why proper software project requirements are essential to producing high-quality software. In this Essential Guide, we'll take a look at the best ways to find and define requirements and examine Agile approaches to managing requirements and compare them with traditional ideas about requirements. We'll look at how requirements change as we go from Web to mobile, define some of the roles that lead to better requirements and troubleshoot a few miscellaneous requirements challenges.

1Gathering Requirements-

How to decide what needs to be done

The first thing a development team needs when they first start a brand-new software project is some idea of what needs doing. In most organizations, this means developing a set of software requirements. Although we probably all know someone in the office who would disagree, there's no one right way to gather requirements. Finding the right methods to gather and manage requirements for a particular team and a particular project can be tough.

The links below offer a framework for understanding some of the common options for gathering requirements, compare and contrast Agile requirements practices with more traditional ideas, and take a close look at some particular Agile requirements techniques.


Elicitation techniques for software requirements

Discovering project requirements can be challenging. An expert offers elicitation techniques you can use to discover business and software requirements. Continue Reading


How is Agile requirement gathering different from Waterfall?

Does moving to Agile development eliminate up-front requirements gathering? Does it mean the development team takes responsibility for requirements instead of the business side? Continue Reading


How to gather requirements in Agile Scrum

Discovering Agile requirements: story mapping, the scrum master role and tools that increase the team's ability to communicate effectively can help. Continue Reading


Keeping Agile requirements in check

A key aspect of dual-track development is fixing false assumptions about a project before they make their way into the software. In other words, it is a way of getting requirements right. Continue Reading


Managing continuous requirements in Agile teams

Find out why continuous requirements are common for Agile teams and are necessary for continuous development flexibility. Continue Reading


Use story mapping for more customer-focused apps

Story mapping can replace requirements gathering and shows developers what is needed to solve business problems in end users' workflows. Continue Reading

2Know your role-

The tester's role in software requirements is not always clear

If getting requirements right is the No. 1 challenge for a development team, then knowing how to effectively contribute to those requirements is the biggest challenge for an individual. We don't want to put in too little effort, but then again, we don't want to put in too much. We want to make sure our voice and concerns are heard, but we don't want to talk over the voices and concerns of our teammates. Check out the links below to get a look at the evolving role of software testers in the requirements gathering process, as well as some insights on how to help developers do their part.


Rethinking requirements and the role of a tester

When specifying requirements at the outset of software lifecycle, maybe "less is more"-- and testers should step up to fill in the gaps. Continue Reading


Getting QA testers to participate in defining requirements

Learn how QA testers should participate in the requirements definition process in this expert response. Continue Reading


How can you engage developers in defining requirements?

Learn when and how a business analyst should engage developers during the process of defining requirements. Continue Reading

3Requirements for mobile-

As technologies change, requirements do too

A decade ago, mobile apps were relatively unknown. Five years ago a mobile app was nice to have. Now, mobile applications are becoming the baseline. The software that runs on mobile devices is still software, so many of the old rules apply. However, just as there were significant changes between standalone software and Web applications, mobile software requires slightly different thinking from traditional Web apps. Mobile devices are just different. Learn more about the concerns mobile and embedded software developers need to contend with in these tips.


Building B2B mobile apps

Many factors must be considered when building mobile B2B apps. Take into account these must-have requirements. Continue Reading


Getting started with requirements on embedded devices

Learn where to start with requirements for software on embedded devices such as the FitBit. Continue Reading


How can requirements be more effective for mobile apps?

Learn the most effective way of defining requirements for users' end experience. Continue Reading

4Problems and solutions-

Common requirements challenges and fixes

This is collection of tips addresses some of our readers' common concerns. Keep reading to see what our requirements experts say about common requirements myths, ways to look at requirements, and better ways to collect and manage software requirements.


Requirements process vs. requirements management

Requirements management and the requirements process are sometimes used to mean the same thing, but customers should be aware that there are differences, and that tools often do not perform all of the tasks in the requirements process. Continue Reading


Should you use a scorecard for requirements?

Should you use a scorecard for requirements? We're hoping that scoring requirements will improve the requirements definition. Continue Reading


Testing with persona-based requirements

Do persona-based requirements make it easier to test software? Learn if there are tools designed to make testing software easier. Continue Reading


Do requirements relate to acceptance criteria?

Requirements and acceptance criteria often seem to be essentially the same thing, but that's not quite true. Continue Reading

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