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Managing Software Requirements: A Unified Approach (Object Technology Series) [Hardcover]

Dean Leffingwell , Don Widrig
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach (Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series) Managing Software Requirements: A Use Case Approach (Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series)
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Book Description

28 Oct 1999 0201615932 978-0201615937 1
"A comprehensive solution to the requirements challenges faced by every development team. Full of insight and ideas all developers can learn from." --Ivar Jacobson"Many projects fail for the simple reason that the developers fail to build the right thing: They either deliver a system that does not meet the expectations of its intended users, or they deliver a system that focuses on secondary functions at the expense of its primary use. Drawing on their extensive experience, Dean and Don demonstrate how to employ an industrial-strength requirements process, one that helps ensure you will build the right thing. Developers of any kind of application should read this book." --Grady Booch Despite the wealth of development knowledge, experience, and tools generally available today, a substantial percentage of software projects continue to fail, often because requirements are not correctly determined and defined at the outset, or are not managed correctly as the project unfolds. Clients do not always know or express their needs precisely, and too often designers and developers do not ask the right questions at the right times. As a result, projects often spin out of control as "feature bloat" and shifting priorities cause budgets and schedules to exceed expectations. Managing Software Requirements focuses on this critical cause of failure and offers a practical, proven approach to building systems that meet customers' needs--on time and within budget. The authors are skilled practitioners who have spent their careers in the trenches building high-quality applications, including safety-critical, real-time systems. Using an informal, approachable style, their own war stories, and a comprehensive case study they show how designers and developers can effectively identify requirements by employing the power of use cases and more traditional forms of requirements expression. The book illustrates proven techniques for determining, implementing, verifying, and validating requirements. It describes six vital Team Skills for managing requirements throughout the lifecycle of a project: Analyzing the Problem, Understanding User Needs, Defining the System, Managing Scope, Refining the System Definition, and Building the Right System. Managing Software Requirements specifically addresses the ongoing challenge of managing change and describes a process for assuring that project scope is successfully defined and agreed upon by all stakeholders. Topics covered include: *The five steps in problem analysis *Business modeling and system engineering *Techniques for eliciting requirements from clients, users, developers, and other stakeholders *Applying and refining use cases *Prototyping *Organizing and managing requirements information *Establishing project scope and managing customers *Using both informal and technical methods for specifying requirements *How to measure and improve the quality of your product's requirements *Moving from requirements to implementation *Verifying and validating the system *Managing change The book concludes with a step-by-step guide to incorporating these powerful techniques into future projects. 0201615932B04062001

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (28 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201615932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201615937
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 19.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,196,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"A comprehensive solution to the requirements challenges faced by every development team. Full of insight and ideas all developers can learn from." --Ivar Jacobson"Many projects fail for the simple reason that the developers fail to build the right thing: They either deliver a system that does not meet the expectations of its intended users, or they deliver a system that focuses on secondary functions at the expense of its primary use. Drawing on their extensive experience, Dean and Don demonstrate how to employ an industrial-strength requirements process, one that helps ensure you will build the right thing. Developers of any kind of application should read this book." --Grady Booch

Despite the wealth of development knowledge, experience, and tools generally available today, a substantial percentage of software projects continue to fail, often because requirements are not correctly determined and defined at the outset, or are not managed correctly as the project unfolds. Clients do not always know or express their needs precisely, and too often designers and developers do not ask the right questions at the right times. As a result, projects often spin out of control as "feature bloat" and shifting priorities cause budgets and schedules to exceed expectations. Managing Software Requirements focuses on this critical cause of failure and offers a practical, proven approach to building systems that meet customers' needs--on time and within budget.

The authors are skilled practitioners who have spent their careers in the trenches building high-quality applications, including safety-critical, real-time systems. Using an informal, approachable style, their own war stories, and a comprehensive case study they show how designers and developers can effectively identify requirements by employing the power of use cases and more traditional forms of requirements expression. The book illustrates proven techniques for determining, implementing, verifying, and validating requirements. It describes six vital Team Skills for managing requirements throughout the lifecycle of a project: Analyzing the Problem, Understanding User Needs, Defining the System, Managing Scope, Refining the System Definition, and Building the Right System. Managing Software Requirements specifically addresses the ongoing challenge of managing change and describes a process for assuring that project scope is successfully defined and agreed upon by all stakeholders.

Topics covered include:

  • The five steps in problem analysis
  • Business modeling and system engineering
  • Techniques for eliciting requirements from clients, users, developers, and other stakeholders
  • Applying and refining use cases
  • Prototyping
  • Organizing and managing requirements information
  • Establishing project scope and managing customers
  • Using both informal and technical methods for specifying requirements
  • How to measure and improve the quality of your product's requirements
  • Moving from requirements to implementation
  • Verifying and validating the system
  • Managing change

The book concludes with a step-by-step guide to incorporating these powerful techniques into future projects.



0201615932B04062001

About the Author

Dean Leffingwell, software business development consultant and former Rational Software executive, is a recognized authority on software requirements. He was cofounder and chief executive officer of Requisite, Inc., where he developed RequisitePro, the highly successful requirements management software tool, and Requirements College, the basis of Rational's popular requirements management professional development course series.

Don Widrig is an independent technical writer and consultant. He developed and delivered Rational Software's RequisitePro Tool Training Course until his "retirement" to the mountains of Colorado in 1997. When he is not busy watching the elk in his yard, Don writes a regular column for his local newspaper and does pro bono work helping the townspeople deal with their computers. He was formerly the vice president of research and development at RELA, Inc., a producer of safety-critical, real-time systems.



0201615932AB05082003

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars concise and practical 12 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
These guys have definitely been there! As a senior analyst currently working in a pan european project in the financial sector, specifying requirements is tricky and enabling developers to have confidence in what is delivered an ongoing priority. This book focuses on the core of project success-the determination and management of requirements. They break open the 'box of tricks' to reveal the issues that a project should focus on, and the team skills required to deliver the work. As such, this is as much a workbook on project management as it is on requirements engineering. The use of a case study enhances the lessons taught by focusing on practical, easily recognisable work activities that anyone involved in a serious project will recognise. The style of writing is relaxed but with each chapter delivering a focus that builds up the knowledge of the reader. As a practical guide it is second to none, as the reader can focus on areas that are relevant, or take it as a learning tutorial and work through cover to cover. An excellent work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview 21 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I found this work to be a reasonable attempt at collating the many aspects of the practice of requirements management that relate to the Unified Process. For the experienced practioner however, there is little in this work that will surprise or fascinate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 24 Jan 2000
By Al Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As an author myself of a competing requirements book, you might expect me to pan this one. But, no, I must admit that this is one of the bext requirements books ever written. It is quite obvious that these two authors have actually lived and breathed software requirements for many, many years. The book is chock full of real-life experiences and practical advice.
Unlike many other requirements books, this one covers the full breadth of classical requirements management, including both elicitation and specification. It is not a religious piece (I mean that as a compliment) in that it does not preach any single "best" way to do anything. Instead, it offers the readers a wide range of choices: brainstorming, storyboarding, use cases, prototyping, and so on.
If you are writing requirements, you need to read this book.
Alan M. Davis
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent addition to your bookshelf! 30 Nov 1999
By Dan Rawsthorne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First of all, let's get to the point. If you are serious about Software Engineering this book belongs on your bookshelf. It covers the full range of topics relating to Requirements Management, from 'Defining the Problem' to 'Managing Your Customer' to 'Managing Change.' There is enough information in here to make your brain hurt, but it is presented well - with many diagrams, stories, and a conversational tone. The book focuses on large team development of large systems, but the concepts will be useful to anyone who has to manage interactions between Developers, Customers, and Users.
This book is a logical, systematic, and thorough description of the current 'state of the art' for Requirements Management, defined as ''a systematic approach to eliciting, organizing, and documenting the requirements of the system, and a process that establishes and maintains agreement between the customer and the project team on the changing requirements of the system.'' It divides the discipline into six team skills, each with its own goals, concepts, and techniques.
- Analyzing the Problem: understanding the problem that needs to be solved.
- Understanding User Needs: eliciting requirements from Users and other Stakeholders.
- Defining the System: organizing and documenting the user's requirements.
- Managing Scope: keeping the workload under control.
- Refining the System Definition: converting the user's requirements to design inputs.
- Building the Right System: implementing, verifying, and validating the system.
Finally, the authors provide a four-page recipe for getting started in your organization.
This book is well worth buying.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every IT analyst and software consultant should read this 22 Jun 2000
By Bryan D. Merrill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Managing Software Requirements gives a true-to-life overview of the problems and pitfalls inherent in getting business people and software people to speak a common language. The first six chapters leverage the authors' combined 40+ years of experience in solving business problems with software. Their insight is keen. Their advice is practical.
The section on understanding user needs, though a bit shallow at times, gives the consultant a useful collection of tools to help elicit issues from business people who have trouble expressing them.
The section on managing scope should be read by everyone who hands projects over to software development teams. These four chapters give more useful information in 38 pages than most books give in 400 pages.
I was disappointed in the light treatment of use case methodology. However, the broad overview of involving consultants in the software analysis and design process is priceless.
Anyone implementing the Rational Unified Process or similar iterative design method would find this work timely and pragmatic. This is a must read for development managers, project coordinators, business analysts, and even architecture and planning administrators.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant overview on requirements 3 Dec 1999
By Christophe Addinquy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First of all, this book is rather pleasant to read and give a good overview on different skillness needed for Software Requirements. I especially appreciate the 3 layer approach for requirements and the good description of the Vision document. On the other hand, true and effective guidelines are often missing for each technique used, and the book often stay on the description level. I personnaly prefer the Robertson's "Mastering the requirements process" which give a more strong process plan and guidelines. Nevertheless, it's not a useless reading.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Book on Software Requirements 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is an excellent reference on exactly what is needed in the software requirements process. Not only does it clearly define, step by step procedures on eliciting and managing requirements, it also provides examples, templates, discussion on scope creep, verification, and other relevant areas.
The authors have made this somewhat "fuzzy" process incredibly easy to follow by breaking the book down into short, easy to read chapters. They also weave throughout the book their (sometimes amusing) past experiences. Indeed, the appendices apply their approach to other methods including RUP, CMM, ISO, etc. Great book - highly effective!
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