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26 SEPTEMBER 2012

Writing a Requirements Document For Multimedia and Software Projects

"Requirements include descriptions of system properties, specifications for how the system should work, and constraints placed upon the development process. Generally, requirements are statements of what a system should do rather than how it should do it. The answers to how questions fall into the realm of design. Requirements specifications should not include design solutions (except for interface requirements, which often include embedded design).

Requirements come from end users, from customers, and sometimes from developers. End users tend to state requirements in descriptive or narrative terms ('I'd like a welcome screen with links to the things I use regularly, and I want to be able to select from a couple of different color schemes for the welcome screen') which might need to be broken down into individual requirement statements. Customers, who may well be different from end users, are the people who are paying for the development of the system. Their requirements will often be stated in terms of costs or scheduling issues. Developers might have requirements related to system performance and other technical topics.

It's important to have all these groups contribute to the requirements document to create a fuller description of the system. The practice of including these groups also helps to ensure that everyone is in agreement about what is to be done before development begins.

Requirements documents usually include user, system, and interface requirements; other classes of requirements are included as needed. User requirements are written from the point of view of end users, and are generally expressed in narrative form: The user must be able to change the color scheme of the welcome screen. System requirements are detailed specifications describing the functions the system needs to do. These are usually more technical in nature: The system will include four preset color schemes for the welcome screen. Colors must be specified for the page background, the text, visited links, unvisited links, active links, and buttons (base, highlight, and shadow). Interface requirements specify how the interface (the part of the system that users see and interact with) will look and behave. Interface requirements are often expressed as screen mock–ups; narratives or lists are also used."

(Rachel S. Smith, California State University Center for Distributed Learning)

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TAGS

business logic • business needs • California State University • design solutions • desirable requirement • documented characteristic • expressed in narrative form • functional explanation • functional requirement • functional requirements document • in scope • interface requirements • mandatory requirement • non-functional requirement • operational narrative • optional requirement • out of scope • performance qualification • planning document • prioritisationproject requirementsproject scopequality assurance • requirement statements • requirements document • requirements documentsrequirements elicitationrequirements gatheringrequirements prioritisationrequirements processrequirements specification • requirements specifications • software development process • software engineeringsoftware system • specific needs • system constraints • system properties • system requirements • user acceptance testing • user requirement specification • user requirements • user requirements document • validation process

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 JULY 2012

CETIS: JISC Pedagogical Vocabularies Review

"The JISC Pedagogical Vocabularies project was a short study, managed by CETIS, to scope the potential for identification, development and use of pedagogical vocabularies for the UK post–16 and HE communities. After a period of data gathering and community consultation, a Working Group of experts from various sectors and communities developed two reports along with recommendations to JISC that will be used to inform future development in this area, in collaboration with JISC partners."

(Joint Information Systems Committee, UK)

1). Pedagogical Vocabularies Review, which inventories existing pedagogical vocabularies, including flat lists, taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies and classification schemes, relevant to the UK post–16 and HE education sectors, with reference to current work in Europe. Final Draft, 23rd December 2005.

TAGS

2005 • capturing vocabularies • Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards • CETIS • classification schemes • community consultation • current standards • data gathering • developing vocabularies • e-learning • existing pedagogical vocabularies • flat lists • funding policy • HE communities • investment policy • JISC • JISC partners • Joint Information Systems CommitteelearningLMS • managing vocabularies • ontologies • pedagogical vocabularies • Pedagogical Vocabularies Review • pedagogypost-16project scopestrategic planningtaxonomiesTEL • thesauri • UK • vocabularies • vocabulary capturing methodologies • vocabulary capturing technologies • vocabulary management technologies • vocabulary management technologies review • vocabulary specifications
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