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What Exactly is a “Requirement” Anyhow?

Michael Shrivathsan
Michael Shrivathsan has worked in silicon valley for over 20 years, in various roles responsible for requirements management (including leadership roles).

Hi there! This is our first post in this blog. So we’ll start with the basics – a definition of the term Requirements.

As a first step, let’s take a look at how a couple of popular authors define it.

What is a Requirement?

Karl Wiegers, in his book Software Requirements defines requirement as follows:

A statement of a customer need or objective, or of a condition or capability that a product must possess to satisfy such a need or objective.

Suzanne & James Robertson, in their excellent book Mastering the Requirements Process define requirement as follows:

A requirement is something the product must do or a quality it must have.

Both are great definitions. I’d myself define a requirement as follows:

A requirement is a capability that a product must possess or something a product must do in order to ultimately satisfy a user need.

Now that we’ve defined requirements, the next question is…

Why Are Requirements Important?

Requirements form the basis for any software development project, as they drive all activities that follow. As a result, it is very important to get requirements right – otherwise, the entire project can fail.

In fact, poor requirements are among the top 5 reasons for project failure in surveys by major research firms like The Standish Group.

Future posts in this blog will cover practical tips & articles to help you improve your requirements – and significantly increase the odds of your project success via superior requirements management.

To your success…

Editor’s Note:

Psst! Interested in an affordable, enterprise-quality software to help you manage requirements in a better way? Check it out with a FREE 30-Day Trial or sign up for a 1-on-1 Demo.

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