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27-Feb-01 1 Implementing Effective Requirements Practices Presented by Dr. Ralph R. Young Director, Software Engineering Systems and Process Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "27-Feb-01 1 Implementing Effective Requirements Practices Presented by Dr. Ralph R. Young Director, Software Engineering Systems and Process Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 27-Feb-01 1 Implementing Effective Requirements Practices Presented by Dr. Ralph R. Young Director, Software Engineering Systems and Process Engineering Northrop Grumman Information Technology

2 27-Feb-01 2 Outline Course Objectives Rationale for Focus on Requirements Typical Customer and Supplier Issues and Remedies What’s Needed? Value of Investment in Requirements Process What Drives Requirements? Goals of Good Requirements Practitioners Benefits of Process Improvement Effective Requirements Practices What do we mean by “real” requirements? The Value of an Effective Requirements Tool Summary

3 27-Feb-01 3 Course Objectives Share industry lessons that revel how ineffective practices cause rework, poor quality products, waste, and loss of competitiveness Invite you to be a leader in fostering improved practices on your project and in your organization (no matter what your current role is) Provide you mechanisms, practices, and tools to facilitate the transformation  What they are  Examples to take back to your organization Nurture  Individual on-the-job fulfillment  Improved organizational effectiveness

4 27-Feb-01 4 The Rationale for Focus on Requirements (Industry Data: 8,000 software projects) 53% of industry’s investment on application development projects is a casualty of cost overruns and failed projects. Major contributing factors include: lack of user input (13%); incomplete requirements (12%); and changing requirements. Reducing requirements errors is the single most effective action developers can take to improve project outcomes. There is as much as a 2000:1 cost savings from finding errors in the requirements stage vs. in the maintenance stage of the life- cycle. Requirements errors are the largest class of errors typically found in a project (41-56% of errors are discovered). The cost of rework is typically 45% of projects.

5 27-Feb-01 5 Typical Customer and Supplier Issues and Remedies CustomerSupplier 1. Doesn’t understand the real needDoesn’t understand the customer’s need 1. Invest more in the requirements process 2. Define the real customer needs 2. Doesn’t understand what is achievable within fiscal boundaries Is unwilling/unable to meet true needs within fiscal boundaries 1. Utilize a joint team 2. Meet minimum requirements 3. Doesn’t communicate the need effectively Doesn’t encourage and nurture more effective communication 1. Take proactive steps to improve communications 2. Utilize a peer review process 4. Provides overly specific specifications Doesn’t engage the client in a process to distill the real needs 1. Emerge the high level real requirements 2. Strengthen commitment/gain a “shared vision” 5. Doesn’t update the statement of current user operating concepts or technology improvements Lacks subject matter expertise to address functional needs 1. Use domain experts 2. Consider technology change management Remedies

6 27-Feb-01 6 What’s Needed? An organizational requirements policy Senior management support A requirements process  Designed by performers in your organizations who are concerned with requirements An organizational “Requirements Working Group” A requirements process description (narrative) Investment in the requirements process (8-14% of total project costs) Recommended methods for each part of the requirements process Training for how to address requirements in your organization An effective automated requirements tool (essential, not optional) A few useful metrics that are tracked and used Suggested reading (for more information, advice, suggestions, recommendations, lessons-learned from others) Effective communication A way (that is, a mechanism) to control changes to requirements

7 27-Feb-01 7

8 8 What Drives Requirements? Regulations Higher Level Specifications Standards Existing systems and processes What Drives Requirements Constraints: costs, schedules, technical viability, legal, environmental Customer and User needs and expectations

9 27-Feb-01 9 Identify incorrect assumptions Ensure consistency Increase compliance Reduce misunderstandings between organizations and individuals Improve the responsiveness of suppliers Improve the satisfaction of all customers Write good requirements Goals of Good Requirements Practitioners

10 27-Feb Benefits of Process Improvement Data derived from an SEI Technical Report, “Benefits of CMM-Based Software Process Improvement,” CMU/SEI-94-TR-13, August Productivity Increase 202% Cycle Time Reduction 46% Defect Reduction 90% Predictability Error Reduction 76% Average time 5 years CATEGORYIMPROVEMENT Over a five-year period, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) had discovered that by having processes and a focus on continuous improvement, these results can be achieved.

11 27-Feb Effective Requirements Practices Commit to the approach. Establish and utilize a Joint Team to be responsible for the requirements. Define the real customer needs. Use a requirements process and continually improve it. Iterate the system requirements and the system architecture repeatedly. Use a mechanism to maintain project communication between and among all engineering groups throughout the development effort. Select familiar methods and maintain a set of work products that collectively comprise the current requirements specification. Perform requirements verification and validation. Provide an effective mechanism to accommodate changes in requirements during system life cycle development. Perform the development effort using known familiar proven industry, organizational, and project best practices.

12 27-Feb What do we mean by “real” requirements? Industry experience is that the customer’s and user’s stated requirements are never the real requirements!  This accounts for many of our problems.  A joint effort of the customer and system supplier is required to emerge the real requirements.  The system supplier needs people who are domain/subject matter experts. Use established criteria for “a good requirement” (see Figure 4-9, pp , for these criteria). Then, emerge real requirements using the “joint team.” Document the rationale for each requirement. Maintain information about each requirement in your requirements tool (source, history, priority, attributes).

13 27-Feb The Value of an Effective Requirements Tool The absence of an effective requirements tool is among the top 5 negative factors that influence development effectiveness (see p. 188, ERP). Essential to manage changes to requirements It’s imperative to know how (and where) each requirement impacts the developing system (“traceability”). Facilitates emerging the real requirements Allows assignment of attributes to each requirement (e.g., priority, status, cost, difficulty, stability, unique id, source, author, rationale) Facilitates CM, testing, validation, and verification activities

14 27-Feb Summary Industry lessons (and our own experience) suggest that implementing effective requirements practices will have a huge impact. Challenge yourself to be a leader in fostering improved practices on your project and in your organization. Select a few mechanisms, practices, and tools to initiate and facilitate the transformation. Nurture  Individual on-the-job fulfillment  Improved organizational effectiveness


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