on 2 November 2012
If the Amazon team that designed the customer review portion of the Amazon web site had read and understood this book, then reviews for the USA and the UK could be done at the same time.
As it is now, readers have to switch from country to country and write separate reviews. If a book like this one is sold in several countries it would not be difficult to list the countries and ask the reviewers which countries they want to have their reviews posted in.
This book by James and Suzanne Robertson is a good book for all software personnel who collect and analyze requirements.
I collect data on requirements topics including defects, and those who have read the Robertson's book tend to have fewer requirements problems.
Books on practical topics such as requirements should demonstrate tangible results, and this book does improve requirements.
This book is recommended to all in the software field.
on 4 November 2012
(And at 500 pages, so it should be!)
This book covers everything you wanted to know about requirements and a fair bit of stuff you didn't know--yet--that you needed. Whether you're building a large "documentation heavy" project or a lean agile one, you still need requirements. The template outlined in this book covers all aspects of requirements that you may need, but you don't need to fill them all out. If all you need are a few functional requirements and a few statements about look-and-feel, great! This book will tell you how best to establish what they are, identify people who have an interest in them, refine the requirements and state them clearly so you can test them. What's this weird little section down here on Security? Hmm. Maybe, we _do_ have security requirements....
Similarly, the "snow card" is a complete set of attributes you may need to consider for a single requirement. If you're used to writing "stories" on an index card, the snow card is a way to ensure you captured everything of interest. Do you always need all the attributes? I can't tell you. But I can tell it's worth asking if, for example, there are reasons why a stakeholder might be seriously unhappy if you don't supply that feature.
In short, if it's useful in requirements engineering, you'll find it here. Do you need to read every word? No. There are helpful pointers to other sections in the book. And you'll always find a few nuggets there. All-in-all, well worth the time.
-- stephen mellor
Full disclosure notice: I have worked on-and-off with the Robertsons over 25 years. We worked together recently on modifying requirements coursework for a system-engineering audience. And I was a reviewer on this third edition of the book. That's how come I know it's worth the candle.
on 19 November 2012
Software books don't often reach a 3rd edition - generally it's two years and they're obsolete: written in haste and in gobbledegook, to hit a quick market and be forgotten. It's now over 12 years since the first edition of this book, 25 years and countless training courses in the making. The result is a distinctive product, a hand-crafted textbook adapted to its users and their needs. There's a wealth of advice, given in small steps, crisply presented and illustrated from personal experience. That means, the authors have no intention of doing things the usual way, unless it happens to be right. The book is aimed squarely at people without much experience of requirements, and is designed to be used in teaching, whether on short courses in industry or on a university course. This means the examples and illustrations are deliberately very simple in 'feel' and appearance. That's deceptive, of course: much practical wisdom is conveyed through simplicity, and tutorial examples have to be small to be manageable, but the techniques are powerful and general. If you've seen an earlier edition of this book, much of this will seem very familiar, but the coverage is broader, the presentation smoother and more up to date, the examples richer and the connection to experience deeper - in other words, it's greatly improved. For self-study without attending a course, you'll find the book readable and thought-provoking, with very clear diagrams and worked examples in the text, but there aren't exercises as such.
on 11 November 2012
In the third edition of Mastering the Requirements Process: Getting Requirements Right, the Robertsons build on the techniques that are essential in understanding and studying the work that organisations do. Then, using easy to understand concepts, frame the contribution of people, process and technology in helping organisations improve that work.
With up to date content that will satisfy the needs of the ardent Agilist, Mastering the Requirements 3rd edition demonstrates the use of this study of work to create high quality input for the product backlog.
Mastering the Requirements 3rd edition has the deserved right of place as the dog-eared reference book on the desk (or the tablet equivalent..!) of anyone involved in improving the work of an organisation. Highly Recommended.
on 5 May 2014
I've been using this book for several months now, and find it practical and easy to put into practice. It focuses on the event responses required from a system, and details the work required to specify your particular project (fully customisable).
There are plently of examples, and a template for a requirements document.