Software Requirements (2nd Edition) Paperback – Feb 26 2003
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About the Author
Karl E. Wiegers is a leading speaker, author, and consultant on requirements engineering, project management, and process improvement. As Principal Consultant with Process Impact, he conducts training seminars for corporate and government clients worldwide. Karl has twice won the Software Development Productivity Award, which honors excellence in productivity-enhancing products and books.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you haven't used techniques like this one before, it is definitely a good idea to pick up a solid book like this one on the best practices in requirements engineering. There are several good books in the market on the topic of software requirements and this is one of the best ones out there.
I found three other books that complement this one - Requirements Engineering by Kotonya and Sommerville (used more as a textbook), Managing Software Requirements by Leffingwell and Widrig (part of the Object Technology Series), and Effective Requirements Practices by Ralph R. Young (comes with a CD-ROM).
If you are a project manager, business analyst or anyone that has a lot to lose because of bad requirements, you will benefit tremendously from this current book being reviewed. The book is divided into three parts - What and Why, Development, and Management of Software Requirements. The part names are self explanatory. This book is very readable and is full of best practices that stand true to their name!
The unique things about this book - in chapter 2, the author outlines the Requirements Bill of Rights for Software Customers and the Requirements Bill of Responsibilities for Software Customers. When I first read this, I felt like every customer has to read this before attempting a software project.Read more ›
However, what sets this book apart from the vast majority of others is its absolute relevance (as opposed to being an arbitrary textbook). For example, this book recognizes the fact that often enough process improvements are deferred due to political reasons alone. The more you read it, the more you realize it addresses the same problems you have encountered while managing the requirements process.
But what really sets this book apart is that it actually tells you how to solve these problems, by offering feasible solutions that could be easily implemented, gradually, in real life scenarios. This, basically, means that the book could actually HELP you.
He covers the issues involved in gathering requirements and keeping them up to date, often offering multiple ways to resolve issues. Wiegers, unlike many academic oriented books, fully acknowledges the political and cultural difficulties that arise when trying to institute a requirements program. Much of his advice is practical and he gives good pointers on the highst ROI practices, so you can inject a little at a time, rather than trying to change culture wholesale.
I'd give a 4.5 out of 5 if I could, due only to the "Next Steps" sections at the end of each chapter. The "Next Steps" are supposedly be small steps you can take to start using the advice Wiegers offers. Unfortunately, most of the steps start with "Take a page/chapter from your current requirements document...." I've worked at few companies that even have a requirements document, so I'm not sure how useful the "Next Steps" really are.
But, that complaint aside, this book is the best combination of reference information for techniques and advice on how to use them on the job.
Iterative approaches are proven to be more effective at eliciting requirements, a fact which is somewhat embraced in the author's discussion of use cases; however, Jacobson originally envisioned use cases to replace other requirements documents as a central element in elicitation, rather than just being a quick diversion.
In reality, most of us strike a middle ground. Projects can't be run in most organizations without rigor, and Software Requirements is a thorough treatment or requirements development and management. The well-organized book is a quick read, and is filled with prescriptive advice, risks, sample forms, and checklists that can be applied to your requirements effort. No wonder the author won a Software Productivity Award for the effort!
I loved the book...
I would say thank you for sharing your ideas this way!!
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