What Exactly is a “Requirement” Anyhow?

Hi there! This is our first post in this blog. We’ll start with the basics – a definition of the term Requirements. We had previously defined it in our other blog, and we’ll recap it here.

Before we dive into our definition of this term, let’s take a look at how a couple of popular authors define it.

Karl Wiegers, in his popular book Software Requirements defines requirement as follows:

A statement of a customer need or objective, or of a condition or capability that a product must possess to satisfy such a need or objective.

Suzanne & James Robertson, in their excellent book Mastering the Requirements Process define requirement as follows:

A requirement is something the product must do or a quality it must have.

Both are great definitions. I’d myself define a requirement as follows:

A requirement is a capability that a product must possess or something a product must do in order to ultimately satisfy a user need.

Now that we’ve defined what are software requirements, the next question is…

Why Are Requirements Important?

Requirements form the basis for any software development project, as they drive all activities that follow. As a result, it is very important to get requirements right – otherwise, the entire project can fail.

In fact, poor requirements are among the top 5 reasons for project failure in survey after survey by major research firms like The Standish Group.

Future posts in this blog will cover practical tips & articles to help you improve your requirements – and significantly increase the odds of your project success via superior requirements management.

Editor’s Note:
Interested in an affordable, enterprise-quality software to help you manage requirements in a better way? Check out FREE 30-Day trial of Accompa or Sign Up for a Demo.

Michael Shrivathsan

I'm your author, Michael Shrivathsan, an expert in requirements management with successful experience at several innovative companies in Silicon Valley, USA over the past two decades. I'm also a USPTO patent recipient. For my day job, I'm the VP of Product Management at Accompa, we make the popular requirements management software.

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