re: Business Requirements

Subject: re: Business Requirements
From: "Sean Hower" <hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com>
To: "John Posada" <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 07:12:58 -0700

> John Posada wrote:
> I don't consider Busness Requirements (BR) as important as Functional
> Requirements (FS), except to write the FS, and if whoever is writing
> the FS thinks they don't need the BR, maybe they do and maybe they
> don't. It could be that the person writing the FS knows that business
> and its requirements very well.

I think that's a pretty big assumption -- that whoever is writing the FR knows the business requirements. In my experience, the FRs have been written by coders who have no exposure to clients, domain space, or users. Or, the exposure is based on knowledge that is out dated. (In my experience.) I don't remember where I read it, but the author made the point that even if a company hires a domain expert as, say, a product manager, once that person is out of the domain space and in the software industry their knowledge ages and after a time just is not as useful as it used to be.

Even if someone does know the busienss requirements, though, they might be the only person within the organization that does. BRs, then, ensure that everyone in the company understands the context within which the FRs are written. The BRs constrain design and provide a way to measure whether fucntionality in an FR makes sense. BRs also provide information to people outside of development, such as QA, documentation, sales, and devilvery, that can be used to test, document, sell, and deploy the solution.

Now, of course, all of this depends on the nature of the software. If we're talking about an ERP, then the BRs are critical for establishing a baseline. If we're talking about Media Player, then perhaps they're not as important.

Your mileage might vary.

Sean Hower - communications specialist

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