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Tips and Tricks on Making Good Requirements

Have you ever dreamt about being on the top of the IT wave and trend-setting new apps and next generation systems? Have you imagined yourself a founding father of another Google or Instagram? Let’s imagine that you have an idea. You have budget and scheduling. But it is not enough. So, what’s next?

If you don’t belong to the IT world and have very circumstantial relation to this sphere, you will definitely require some help on the idea you have. Most likely that you will have to resort to the services that many IT companies provide nowadays – project estimation (to know the total cost of the planning project) and project development. Before you go to any of the numerous companies, you will have to elaborate what you will be able to provide to them. Correct and comprehensive project specifications which importance we’ve already been discussing earlier is something to describe your needs. Here are some extra tips you might not have heard about on how to gather comprehensive information on your planning project.

1. Define the purpose

All the ideas of the project must be put together, including project’s purpose, complexity and functionality. In other words, 3 main questions have to be answered before an inquiry:

  • WHAT is needed
  • HOW TO IMPLEMENT
  • FOR WHAT PURPOSE.

You should understand that it’s about choosing between a mobile or web app, system integration, etc., which may be tailored for various needs (business performance improvement; social networking; sails platform; entertainment content; information acquisition system; utilities or any other).

2. Consider interface requirements

These requirements describe the way how the end-user will view the product while using it. A well-built, easy-in-use interface influences positively on the overall customer opinion which is followed by the increase in popularity of the product itself.

3. Categorize the requirements

When you make the whole list of requirements, keep in mind that they have to be organized into separate divisions such as:

  • Overall description (including product functions and perspectives, users classes and environments, etc.);
  • External interface requirements (user interfaces, software interfaces, etc.);
  • System features (functional requirements);
  • Non-functional requirements (safety & security requirements, etc.).

This diversion will facilitate requirements understanding and reduce time needed for the research of the tasks because all the information will be logically presented in a form of a requirements guide.

4. Compose a requirements document

It is not an essential point at all, but it will facilitate the procedure of requirements processing significantly. As soon as the requirements are listed and categorized, it’s high time to draw up a specific document to keep all the requirements together. This document can be composed in any possible form, but should contain less text and more graphic information in the form of tables, schemes and images.

5. Make a prototype

Prototyping is a good means of information representation, too. There are many services (paid and available for free) that help with the creation of a project prototype just in minutes. Such services as InVision, Justinmind, Marvel, etc. are great prototyping tools to test out web and mobile design and overall system operation.

6. Ask for help

In case requirements making process causes a lot of difficulties, it’s easier to get advised by a relevant person to obtain useful information on the planning project. Business analysts are the people who know how to translate your ideas into the developers’ language. If you don’t have comprehensive knowledge on each phase of the development cycle, you will most likely make wrong, unprofitable decisions.

Graphically, the set of tips on the requirements making described above can look like this:

As soon as the requirements are defined, the work on the requirements analysis begins which also plays a significant role in delivering a high quality product. Now, equipped with the set of requirements which can be formed into a single document – project specifications – you can turn to any company to request a project estimation based on your needs described in the document. Estimation will reveal the project development scheduling and the total cost, so you will be able to compare several options to each other and find the best deal.

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