The requirements engineering service is indispensable to guarantee the success in the development of any software.
More than counting on good ideas and properly qualified professionals, the process of creating a system requires full alignment among those involved and clarity about its objectives.
Requirements engineering offers controls and standards so that the project requirements are clear, correspond to its purposes and can be understood by all those responsible.
This guarantees the quality of the software, as well as more productivity in its development, operation and maintenance stages.
Next, better understand what it is used for and what are the objectives of the requirements engineering service, what are its main stages, as well as the differentials that Monitora offers.
Find out what it is used for and what the objectives of the requirements engineering service are
Any project needs well defined requirements so that it can really meet its intended needs. In software development, this reality is no different: all interested parties must be clear and agree on what the system must have in order to meet its main requirements. In short, it is the requirements that guide the progress of a project.
Therefore, more than defining the problems and solutions that will guide the creation process, knowing the requirements guarantees the understanding of all the actors, the functionalities and makes the development process faster and more economical.
Therefore, we can say that the requirements serve as a basis for the project planning, as well as for its risk management, change control and even acceptance testing.
Poorly organized, inadequately reported and unrealistically expected requirements are directly responsible for problems and failures in software projects.
In short, it is possible to state that the requirements engineering service is a process that manages all the requirements so that a system is developed and always remains aligned with the needs and demands of the users.
In the next item, understand how this service works and what its main steps are.
Understand how the service works
The requirements engineering service includes some basic activities, divided into steps to standardize project management and ensure its success. These are the steps:
This is the initial moment, in which the needs of the software users are raised, besides general information, such as domain information, about systems already used in the company, legislation, among others.
The main objective is to understand the demands, processes, restrictions and possibilities of the contractors and, from these details, to list the system requirements.
In the survey of requirements, four basic understandings must be obtained by the development team:
- Understanding of the Application Domain, that is, in which area the software will be used;
- Understanding of the Problem, in which details are gathered regarding the demands that the system will solve;
- Understanding of the Business and Actors, which point out how the software will impact the organization and contribute to its achievement;
- Understanding of the Needs and Restrictions of the Stakeholders, which includes the processes and functions that will be assisted by the system and the demands for the performance of the work of its stakeholders.
Many are the techniques for the requirements to be raised. They can include interviews and questionnaires among the interested parties, observation of the work environment in which it will be applied, simulations with the final users, etc.
Once the requirements are raised, they need to be analyzed to be clear about how they will be used in the software modeling.
Besides describing all the requirements in a natural language, so that everyone involved understands it, it is also common to create graphic representations.
These representations serve to better demonstrate the organization’s processes, the problems that need to be solved and, based on this, the best means for system development.
We can state that the analysis of requirements consists of a conceptual modeling of the software, in which means of analysis are developed to obtain a better understanding and specification of the system that will be created.
This is a step with less focus on technical issues. Its core are issues based on conceptual and behavioral perspectives.
While the first concerns the concepts and domain relations important for the development of the software, the second aims to establish how it will behave and the context of its functionalities.
All the requirements and models established in the survey and analysis phases need to be described and properly documented. This serves to correctly record and make official the results of the requirements engineering service.
With everything properly documented, requirements are more easily communicated among stakeholders, providing a realistic source of estimates, verification and validation.
Described in a simple and natural language, the requirements documentation should have the purpose of the system, the description of the problems it aims to solve, lists of its functionalities and the rules of the business. This type of tool is indispensable to ensure full alignment between developers, customers, users and managers.
Verification, Validation and Quality Assurance
The requirements documentation produced in the last step needs to be checked and validated.
While the verification serves to attest that the system is being developed properly, the validation is used to confirm that the software being created is actually right for your purposes.
In short, it can be stated that the verification confirms that the solutions created meet their pre-defined requirements. Validation, on the other hand, ensures that the software created from these requirements actually fulfills its purposes.
The validation demands a full participation of the users and the client, who are the most qualified to confirm that the purposes of the software really are in accordance with its requirements.
Thus, it is verified that the described requirements have no inconsistencies, omissions, errors or conflicts. The documents must be in accordance with previously defined standards, bringing requirements that meet the needs of users and customers.
The main objective of this step is to confirm that the requirements are right, realistic, complete, consistent and verifiable.
From the survey to the software operation itself, requirements may change. This can occur due to errors, omissions, definition of new priorities, technical problems, changes in the business, economic scenario, competition, among many other related factors.
In order that these changes do not generate problems in the development process, the requirements are managed. This control serves so that the responsible team can recognize and control the requirements, managing with more security their eventual changes in any stage of the creation.
At this stage, means are determined to better manage changes in requirements, the relationship and dependencies between those who have undergone changes, as well as the updating of their documentation.
Some of the basic activities of this management include controlling your changes, controlling the version of the system, monitoring the status of requirements, as well as tracking them.