Review By: Clark Riffe
12/30/2005In "Discovering REAL Business Requirements for Software Project Success," author Robin Goldsmith focuses on the critical early stage of software development in which we gather and document business requirements. He credits Barry Boehm's book, "Software Engineering Economics" (1981), with making the world aware that the cost of fixing an error rises by an approximate factor of ten for each additional later stage at which the error is fixed. He says that this implies the most expensive error is a requirements error that is not found until the system is in production.
Based on these compelling economics, Goldsmith leads us through what it takes to do a better job discovering and testing REAL business requirements. First he defines the term "REAL business requirements." Next he goes into considerable detail about twenty-one ways to test whether the requirements have been appropriately defined. Throughout the book the author places responsibility on those charged with discovering requirements, encouraging them to look beyond the input received from business operators and users and to dig for the REAL business requirements.
Review By: Lee Copeland
12/30/2005"Defining business requirements is the most important and poorest performed part of system development." So begins "Discovering Real Business Requirements for Software Project Success" by Robin Goldsmith. Business requirements, unlike user requirements, define what a system must do to provide value to the organization. Many software projects ultimately do not satisfy organizations simply because the business goals were never defined. This book helps the reader effectively identify those requirements.
Robin Goldsmith offers an approach to discovering REAL business requirements that, if followed properly, can reduce the number of similar dialogues. We cannot expect our business partners to give us well-structured requirements ready for programming.