Software Requirements etc…
Like with many things, there are some variation in how software requirements are defined and described in the corporate workplace. This is changing more and more to be much more standardised and agreed among business analysis bodies. The definitions that I will use here are based on some theory and some practice, so lets see what that brings up!
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The term ‘Software Requirements’ are used very widely by a lot of business professionals when they refer loosely to the requirements associated with a piece of software. It is strictly not a type of requirement as such although in some cases it is used as a synonym for functional requirements…
A functional requirement is a requirement which describes what a software solution must be able to do. It describes essentially a function that needs to be performed by a system. As mentioned above, it is often what is meant by the term software requirements!
An example of a functional requirement is this: The ability for the system to calculate the bonus associated with an employee’s salary. Another example could be: The user must have the ability to download the data displayed on the screen.
This definition often forms part of a business analysis job interview question!
This type of requirement is what we as business analysts get very closely with. We will always start with defining the business requirements when we kick off a project….these requirements are also referred to as: Stakeholder Requirements.
A business requirement is a requirement type where the business describes what they would like to have implemented, developed or changed. Business requirements often then develop into functional, non-functional or software requirements.
An example business requirement could be: An ability to report on product sales figures for each department on a daily basis.
Non-functional Requirements, a type of software requirements too.
Another great interview question! What is the difference between a functional and a non-functional requirement?
A non-functional requirement describes a characteristic which is required for a system solution.
An example of a non-functional requirement would be: The system must have 99% availability to the end user. Another example of a non-functional requirement could be: The system must meet the company interface usability standard policy. These requirements also describes system performance, disaster recovery, audit trails, system integration, volume and security among others.
Other Software Requirements Types..
There are other definitions out there for terms such a system requirements, technical requirements and business rules but in general they will all fit into one of the buckets described above. Understand the basic requirement types and off you go!