Gathering and managing software project requirements

Last updated:January 2015

Editor's note

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.

1The 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.

2As 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.

3Common 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.