Software Requirements

Microsoft Press
Karl Wiegers / Joy Beatty  
Microsoft Press
Total pages
August 2013
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Software Requirements


Now in its 3rd Edition, this classic guide to software requirements engineering has been fully updated with new topics, examples, and guidance. Two leaders in the requirements community have teamed up to deliver a contemporary set of practices covering the full range of requirements development and management activities on software projects.

  • Describes practical, effective, field-tested techniques for managing the requirements engineering process from end to end.
  • Provides examples demonstrating how requirements 'good practices' can lead to fewer change requests, higher customer satisfaction, and lower development costs.
  • Fully updated with contemporary examples and many new practices and techniques.
  • Describes how to apply effective requirements practices to agile projects and numerous other special project situations.
  • Targeted to business analysts, developers, project managers, and other software project stakeholders who have a general understanding of the software development process.
  • Shares the insights gleaned from the authors’ extensive experience delivering hundreds of software-requirements training courses, presentations, and webinars.
New chapters are included on specifying data requirements, writing high-quality functional requirements, and requirements reuse. Considerable depth has been added on business requirements, elicitation techniques, and nonfunctional requirements. In addition, new chapters recommend effective requirements practices for various special project situations, including enhancement and replacement, packaged solutions, outsourced, business process automation, analytics and reporting, and embedded and other real-time systems projects.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • Software requirements: What, why, and who
    • Chapter 1: The essential software requirement
    • Chapter 2: Requirements from the customer's perspective
    • Chapter 3: Good practices for requirements engineering
    • Chapter 4: The business analyst
  • Requirements development
    • Chapter 5: Establishing the business requirements
    • Chapter 6: Finding the voice of the user
    • Chapter 7: Requirements elicitation
    • Chapter 8: Understanding user requirements
    • Chapter 9: Playing by the rules
    • Chapter 10: Documenting the requirements
    • Chapter 11: Writing excellent requirements
    • Chapter 12: A picture is worth 1024 words
    • Chapter 13: Specifying data requirements
    • Chapter 14: Beyond functionality
    • Chapter 15: Risk reduction through prototyping
    • Chapter 16: First things first: Setting requirement priorities
    • Chapter 17: Validating the requirements
    • Chapter 18: Requirements reuse
    • Chapter 19: Beyond requirements development
  • Requirements for specific project classes
    • Chapter 20: Agile projects
    • Chapter 21: Enhancement and replacement projects
    • Chapter 22: Packaged solution projects
    • Chapter 23: Outsourced projects
    • Chapter 24: Business process automation projects
    • Chapter 25: Business analytics projects
    • Chapter 26: Embedded and other real-time systems projects
  • Requirements management
    • Chapter 27: Requirements management practices
    • Chapter 28: Change happens
    • Chapter 29: Links in the requirements chain
    • Chapter 30: Tools for requirements engineering
  • Implementing requirements engineering
    • Chapter 31: Improving your requirements processes
    • Chapter 32: Software requirements and risk management
  • Epilogue
  • Current requirements practice self-assessment
  • Requirements troubleshooting guide
  • Sample requirements documents
  • Glossary
  • About the authors


Joy Beatty, a leader in the software requirements community, has trained thousands of business analysts and helped major organizations build business-analysis centers of excellence. She is coauthor of Visual Models for Software Requirements.