Author: Dustin Snyder

7 Tips for Writing Better Requirements

The success or failure of a project is due, in large part, to the requirements underpinning the effort.

When written with these steps in mind, project managers are likely to get buy-in from stakeholders sooner. Additionally, the project team will experience time savings on development as well as a more comprehensive set of testing scenarios as a result of well-written requirements. Whether they’re business, functional, or performance requirements, these steps are sure to up your game and make you a more impactful Business Analyst.

1. Know Your Audience

When sitting down to begin composition of your requirements, take a moment to think about the potential readers. In most cases, your requirements will be read by leadership, project stakeholders, developers, and testers. As you consider these sub-sections of your company, reflect on the collective skill set of each group. What would they expect to see in a requirements document? What questions can you preemptively answer for each user group? How can you write to the satisfaction of each of these disparate groups?

2. Use Plain Language

Incorporating plain professional language in your business requirements will always pay dividends when attempting to satisfy colleagues across the company. The key to writing a good requirement is balance. The more technical the requirement, the more necessary it becomes to state it for even your least technical audience member plainly. A new employee should be able to read your requirement on the first day of their job and be left with a basic understanding of what should happen. At the same time, you want the requirement to be succinctly stated and contain all of the necessary technical information the developers and testers require to complete their jobs. A good example of this balance might look like this:

Req 9.0 – A section labeled “Member Details” is present on the details window outlined in Req 7.5