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T01: "Just Enough Requirements Management (JERM)" (Alan Davis)

Just Enough Requirements Management (JERM)

Monday, September 9th from 900 - 1730


Target Audience: Requirements practitioners, requirements analysts, requirements writers, requirements managers, systems analysts, project managers, marketing personnel

Tutorial Outcome: Requirements engineers are bombarded repeatedly by larger & larger, more & more complex notations, methods, techniques, tools, and methodologies (collectively called "requirements management"). Proponents of each claim that their approach is somehow "better" than the previous generation's offerings. And yet, our ability to define systems does not appear to improve, at least not by using the only valid success metric: the degree to which the completed system satisfies its intended customers. This tutorial presents an unburdening, return-to-basics approach that calls for less, not more requirements management.

The purpose of requirements management is to help identify the actual needs of stakeholders, decide which subset of those needs should be addressed realistically given available resources, and to document and manage the external characteristics (usually called "requirements") of a desired system.

This tutorial will expose participants to how to do requirements management simply so that system development is accelerated, not brought to its knees, and more importantly helps you build the right system for your customers, rather than just forcing you to follow dozens of irrelevant steps. In summary, participants in this tutorial will be able to return to their work places armed with knowledge of how to do requirements activities with minimum protocol and maximum results.

Topics Covered:
Participants will:

  1. Learn about how poor our industry's record is on satisfying user needs.
  2. Understand the significant role our requirements practices have in contributing to this awful record.
  3. Learn the state-of-the-practice in requirements management.
  4. Appreciate the essential aspects of requirements management:
    a. Understand stakeholder needs
    b. Select the subset of needs you should address
    c. Document the desired external behavior of the solution system
  5. For each essential aspect, learn how to do the job efficiently, effectively, and with minimal overhead.


Alan Davis:
Al Davis

Al Davis is professor of information systems at U. of Colorado at Colorado Springs and CEO of Omni-Vista. Previously, he was a VP at BTG and Director of the SW Technology Center at GTE Labs. He is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of IEEE Software, an editor for J. of Systems and Software, and author of Software Requirements and 201 Principles of Software Development. He is a fellow of IEEE, and earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from U. of Illinois.

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Last updated: 2002-05-14