Requirements validation

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Who has good methods/experience with ensuring that users understand documented requirements such that they get actually get what thet want?

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The best course of action to make sure users understand the requirements documented and that you understand what they want in a system or software is to actually talk with them. That isn’t always possible, but the process still must be iterative. You need to go back to them frequently until you both understand what the eventual application or system will be.

Some companies have <a href=”http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/expert/KnowledgebaseAnswer/0,289625,sid92_gci1283977,00.htm”>prototyping tools</a> to help. With those, the customers or end users can actually see what the application will do. Often those tools will generate code and reports as well. Prototyping and simulation tools include the following:

* <a href=”http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid92_gci1264589,00.html”>Skyway Visual Workspace </a>

* Simunicator by Simunication

* Prototype Composer by Serena

* iRise Studio by iRise

Requirements consultant Ellen Gottesdiener agrees that visualization can greatly help with the requirements process and suggests <a href=”http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid92_gci1245443,00.html”>using models</a> to make sure everyone is clear about what the product is supposed to do.

If prototyping or visual devices aren’t possible, <a href=”http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid92_gci334062,00.html”>use cases</a> and user stories written in business language (no tech-speak or IT acronyms) can help.

Requirements consultant <a href=”http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/expert/KnowledgebaseAnswer/0,289625,sid92_gci1248075,00.html”>Karl Wiegers suggests various requirements templates and examples</a> that may also help you.

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