This is getting pretty technical, but bear with me while I try to get through the next part quickly. The next few concepts are essential, but they can also be controversial.
- Here is the first business requirement requirement: Each business requirement must be written as a complete statement. Just as in any other written communication, incomplete sentences and fragments create ambiguity, confusion and misunderstanding. If your statement is unclear, others may misunderstand it during implementation. That, in turn, will create more deliberation or rework. That costs you.
- Each requirement must contain the word “must” or another similar term such as “needed,” “required” or “specified.” This makes the intent clear to all readers that this is not just a guideline or recommendation.
- Each requirement must be a simple and clear statement. If you have a compound sentence then it may disguise multiple requirements. Clarity is essential to dispel ambiguity.
- Each requirement must be actionable and testable. You can ask yourself these questions: How do I approach the task of implementing this requirement? How do I know when the requirement has been met? If you can answer these questions with confidence, then you have in hand a well-written business requirement.
- Finally. a requirement statement must present the actual need, the actual deed to be implemented, and not describe only the requirement in general terms.