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A good user requirements documents is one that correctly identifies the customer and relevant stakeholders, correctly understands what the customer needs and wants and can differentiate between these, and is both specific enough and broad enough to prevent scope creep.

Additionally, user requirements that are especially effective also detail the jobs to be done (functional requirements), the problems to be prevented and outcomes to be achieved, usability requirements, the roles and responsibilities, the overall process, the risks, the process controls and managerial approval processes and technical requirements.

A user requirements specification does not have to be a long and complex document, but it should contain basic elements, such as:

  • Key figures and hard numbers
  • Operational information and any constraints
  • Timeframes and dates
  • An overview of what the facility and the system being supplied should do
  • Future projections

The specifications of a user requirements document should be produced by the client, though if the expertise or resource is unavailable a third party such as a consultant can be used or a supplier if you have chosen to partner with one.

However it is produced the client should take responsibility for the document as it sets out their requirements, and will form the basis for functional design specifications, test scripts, and handover conditions.

Keep in mind, a propitious user requirement returns benefits such as better estimates, improved customer satisfaction, reduced cost and shorter project duration.

When creating a user requirements document, it is essential to get everybody involved, including the customer, project manager, customer account manager, developers, testers and anyone else with a stake in the project.

Requirements gathering is a joint activity, not solely the domain of business analysts and project managers.

A good set of requirements enables the project manager to plan and estimate the project well.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Developing User Requirements Training Workshop, a 2-day course that provides guidelines and skills to plan and write well-defined and well-formed, testable, verifiable, validateable user requirements.

Participants will learn to enhance their requirements writing skills and system/product development processes starting with elicitation and stakeholders involvement.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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