Requirements Engineering


a course presented over four days

Presented by Mr. Robert Halligan


Requirements engineering is practiced by many, mastered by surprisingly few. And yet, the payoff from achieving excellence in this field of project activity is large.

Requirements engineering may be considered to embrace:

  • the recording (specification) of requirements, as requirements are first created
  • the capture of requirements not already recorded, and the validation of requirements which exist, whether or not they have been recorded, or have been recorded adequately (requirements analysis)
  • the re-specification of requirements which have been inadequately specified
  • the maintenance of traceability between different expressions of the same requirement
  • the maintenance of traceability between requirements of different objects in design
  • the management of the above activities.

The course recognizes throughout, other dimensions of the problem domain, including measures of effectiveness (MOEs), goals, and related value relationships.

This course first establishes fundamental principles and relationships as they relate to requirements (plus MOEs, etc), with emphasis on how requirements come into existence: the relationship between requirements and design.

The course then addresses the techniques used to capture, validate and gain a complete understanding of requirements, both initially, and at all subsequent stages of a system life cycle.

The course then addresses in detail the conversion of individual requirements into effective requirements specifications. The course focuses on the structure of requirements specification, based on principles and without reference to specific languages.

This course, available world-wide on an in-house basis, and in some countries on a public basis, is the language-independent equivalent of Project Performance International's 5-day public course in Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing (one day of this latter course focuses on English language requirements specification).

Who Should Attend This Course?

Being independent of specific problem domains and solution technologies, and being language independent, this course is relevant to a wide range of enterprises, and roles within those enterprises, worldwide.

Relevant application sectors include defence, aerospace, telecommunications, public infrastructure, entertainment and medicine. Relevant organization types include military, public sector, contractors, product-oriented firms, consultants, research and development enterprises.

Requirements Engineering is designed for personnel who specify, perform, control or manage the development of small to large technology-based systems where successful outcomes are important. The course will be of particular value to people with job titles such as project manager, product manager, engineering manager, requirements manager, requirements engineer, specification writer, systems engineer, software systems engineer, software engineer, design engineer, test engineer, hardware engineer, and similar engineering and acquisition job titles.

Many other participants in the technical and management processes of transforming a need into an effective, technology-based solution will benefit from this course.

People whose primary interest is requirements expressed in the English language may prefer to take Project Performance International's companion 5-day course 'Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing', within which some hours are devoted to English language requirements specification constructs.

Training Methods and Materials

The course is delivered in English using a mixture of formal presentation and an extensive set of individual/group courses. Language support may be available for deliveries of the course in some countries - see country-specific course descriptions. The requirements analysis courses carry a single system through a number of requirements analysis activities, simulating, as closely as possible, the conduct of a real requirements analysis. The specification writing courses provide hands-on practice and guidance in structuring requirements specifications. Commendations on the high degree of effectiveness of this delivery approach are available on request.

Participants receive comprehensive courses notes, a workshop workbook, numerous worked examples, a Requirements Engineering Resources CD-ROM, mainly in English, containing a wealth of valuable information (handbooks, templates, guides, papers, reports, standards, etc) and a variety of other reference materials and resources.

Training Objective

It is expected that, on completion of the course, participants will:

  • understand the principles of requirements engineering
  • understand the role of requirements analysis (requirements capture and requirements validation) in achieving successful project outcomes
  • understand the concept of requirements quality. Be able to measure the quality of a requirements specification, increasingly more accurately as skills in requirements analysis improve through on-the-job experience
  • understand the basic types of requirements (functional, performance, external interface, environmental, resource, etc), and the significance of these distinctions. Be able to recognise requirements of each type, a prerequisite for effective specification writing
  • be able to perform, at a basic level of skill at least, the techniques which collectively constitute an effective and efficient methodology for performing requirements analysis.
  • have some basic capability to tailor the application of the techniques of requirements analysis to different scenarios
  • be capable of extensive further on-the-job learning, within a sound conceptual framework, in the field of requirements analysis
  • understand the role of specification writing in achieving successful project outcomes
  • understand the principles of good specification structure, for specification of systems, software and services
  • be familiar with the range of public domain standards for different types of requirements specifications.

Requirements Engineering Course Outline

1. Why Emphasise Requirements

  • Issues and terminology
  • Lessons from real projects

2. Requirements Within the System Life Cycle

  • The Origin of Requirements
  • Concept of the system boundary
  • The modelling boundary
  • The systems engineering process
  • Development of system architecture and detail design
  • Requirements traceability
  • Summary of terms relating to requirements
  • Baselines and their use
  • The waterfall life cycle paradigm
  • Incremental acquisition/development
  • Evolutionary acquisition/development
  • The spiral model
  • Workshop - requirements engineering principles
  • Common requirements pitfalls in the system life cycle

3. What are Requirements?

  • Definitions and views
  • Relationship to design
  • Relationship to baselines

4. Types of Requirements

  • Why categorise requirements by type?
  • Eight basic types
  • Differences between requirements for hardware, software, services
  • Non-requirements
  • Workshop - categorising requirements by type
  • Other categories - design drivers, critical, global, priority, importance, stability

5. The Quality of Requirements

  • Correctness
  • Completeness
  • Consistency
  • Clarity
  • Non-ambiguity
  • Traceability
  • Testability
  • Singularity
  • Feasibility
  • Freedom from product/process mix

6. Requirements Analysis Techniques

  • Primary, Secondary, Tertiary stakeholders
  • Initial assessment and planning
  • Measuring requirements quality
  • Methods of engaging in requirements dialogue
  • Context analysis
  • Workshop - context analysis
  • Design requirements analysis
  • States & Modes analysis
  • Workshop - states and modes analysis
  • Requirements parsing
  • Workshop - parsing
  • Functional analysis - needs analysis, operational analysis, use cases
  • Workshop - functional analysis
  • Rest of scenario analysis
  • Optional Workshop - rest of scenario analysis
  • Out of range analysis
  • Optional Workshop - out-of-range
  • ERA analysis
  • Other constraints search
  • Value analysis
  • Verification requirements development
  • Operational Concept Description
  • Clean-up
  • Special issues of the human interface
  • Supplementary methods and notations
  • Common pitfalls in requirements analysis

7. Coping with the Real World

  • What to do when the user "doesn't know"
  • How to respond to "moving goalposts"
  • Protecting yourself from the communication chasm

8. Tool Support to Requirements Analysis

  • Tools supporting requirements analysis
  • Tools supporting requirements management
  • Examples of available tools
  • Common pitfalls in using tools

9. Requirements Verification

  • Requirements reviews
  • Use of metrics

10. Management of Requirements Analysis

  • Management issues
  • Using and managing "TBDs"
  • Designing a requirements codification scheme
  • Managing resolution of requirements issues

11. Specification Writing

11.1 Transforming Requirements into Requirements Specifications

  • What is a requirements specification?
  • How requirements specifications relate to requirements
  • How requirements specifications relate to configuration baselines
  • Using a requirements database

11.2 Requirements Flowdown into Requirements Specifications

  • The specification tree
  • Special considerations for interface requirements

11.3 Requirements Types and Formats

  • Basic types of requirements specification
  • Using DIDs and templates
  • IEEE specification standards
  • US Military and other national and international specification standards

11.4 Structuring Your Specification

  • Solicitation or agreement documents - what to put in system and software requirements specifications, statements of work /service level agreements and the like, conditions of contract
  • Structuring a statement of work
  • Structuring a system specification
  • Structuring a software requirements specification
  • Structuring an interface requirements specification
  • Introduction and Scope
  • Dealing with variants
  • Listing applicable and other referenced documents
  • Definitions, acronyms and abbreviations
  • Requirements Section
    • Identification of Required External Interfaces
    • Dealing with States and Modes
    • Functional, functional and performance, functionally oriented, versus design -oriented requirements specifications
    • Differences
    • When to use each type
    • Sequencing and indenting of specification of function and performance
    • Specification of external interface requirements
    • Specification of environmental, resource, physical and other qualities requirements
    • Structuring the specification of any design direction
    • Specification of Verification/Qualification/Test Requirements
    • Notes
    • Annexes, appendices and applicable documents

11.5 Specification Writing

  • Review of requirements quality
  • Requirement structural template
  • Workshop – expressing strong requirements
  • Requirements constructs
  • Shall, should, will, and may
  • Linking
  • Cross-referencing
  • Workshop – linking and cross-referencing
  • Defining terms
  • Workshop – defining terms
  • Context dependence
  • Reference to applicable documents
  • Use of precedence
  • Workshop – using precedence
  • Using success criteria to express otherwise vague requirements
  • Workshop – using success criteria
  • Workshop – specification of key requirements for a system
  • Paragraph headings
  • Use of supporting data
  • Mission profiles/use cases
  • Baseline designs
  • Benchmarks
  • Linking the specification to the statement of work or conditions of contract
  • Test specifications
  • Workshop – evaluation of example specifications

12. Bibliography

  • Additional reference material

13. Summary and Conclusion

About the Presenter - Mr. Robert Halligan, FIE Aust.

Your presenter, Mr Robert Halligan, FIE (Aust), is Managing Director of Project Performance (Australia) Pty Limited. He was also founder of Technology Australia Pty Limited, a consultancy company which received remarkable success in guiding its clients to success in winning and performing on major defence and aerospace projects. Mr Halligan has previously held senior project-related engineering and management positions with Rockwell, Andrew Corporation and the Department of Defence (Australia). Mr Halligan has honed his experience over twenty years in the engineering of large communications, computing and electronic warfare systems...

View Full Robert Halligan Biography

For further information on how to register, or to download a copy of the registration form, please click here.

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Requirements Engineering Course Schedule

How to Register

There are three simple ways to register to one of our courses.

  1. Online. You may register online by clicking the "register online" link next to the course of interest.
  2. Fax. Download a registration form by clicking the link above the schedule and fax the completed form to our offices on +61 3 9876 2664 (Australia) or +1 888 772 5191 (North America).
  3. Email. Download a registration form by clicking the link next to the course of interest and email the form here.

Upon receiving a completed registration form, a course confirmation letter and invoice will be sent electronically to the email provided within 1-2 business days. Payment can made by credit card or by bank transfer.

If you need any assistance with the registration process or have any queries, please call one of our friendly team members on Australia +61 3 9876 7345, UK +44 20 3286 1995, North America +1 888 772 5174, Brazil +55 11 3230 8256 or email us.

Course FAQ

What is the difference between the requirements engineering and the requirements analysis & specification writing courses?

The Requirements Engineering (RE) seminar is primarily designed for people whose first language is not English. As such, it is not offered in most countries where English is the native language.

What is the degree of overlap between PPI's five-day Systems Engineering course and PPI's five-day Requirements Analysis & Specification Writing course?

In that both Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing are critically important sub-disciplines within Systems Engineering, these disciplines are covered in both courses.

In the 5-day Systems Engineering course, Requirements Analysis is put in context in the first two days of the course. Then, 1.7 days is devoted to "how to do requirements analysis - capture and validation of the information content of requirements". This depth of coverage is sufficient for delegates to go away with new insights, and importantly, new skills, in performing Requirements Analysis. Courses are used extensively, based on a single system that is taken through Requirements Analysis then subsequently Design, in course format.

In the 5-day Systems Engineering course, Specification Writing is put in context in the first two days of the course. Specification writing is then touched upon incidentally in Requirements Analysis, especially in parsing analysis, and in the "clean-up" activity, a related handout for which lists problematic English: parts of words, words and phrases, and the checks that are done regarding adequacy of language in relation to use of these words (etc).

In the 5-day Systems Engineering course, a revised requirements specification for the course system is distributed to, and inspected by, delegates, on the fourth day of the course. More general advice on specification writing is then provided on the fifth (last) day of the course, over 10-15 minutes.

In the 5-day Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing course, Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing are put in context in the first 0.8 days of the course. Focus is then given to the types of requirements and their significance to the roles of requirements analyst, specification writer, and designer. This session culminates in a course. Then, 2-2.5 days are devoted to "how to do requirements analysis - capture and validation of the information content of requirements". This is a significantly greater depth of coverage compared with the systems engineering course. Courses are again used extensively, based on a single system, almost always a different system to the system used for the systems engineering course. There are more, and longer, courses in requirements analysis compared with systems engineering course. Overall, RA&SW5D provides greater depth in requirements analysis than does the systems engineering course.

The feedback from people who have participated in both courses has been mostly that they have appreciated the revision and extra depth in requirements analysis. However, about 10% of people have regarded the overlap as excessive for their purposes.

In the 5-day Requirements Analysis and Specification Writing course, hugely more coverage is given to the structuring of system and software requirements specifications, and specifications of services. Similarly, almost a day is devoted to advice on the use of language (English) in expressing requirements - pitfalls and pointers. There is also substantial coverage of writing non-requirements sections of requirements specifications - scope, applicable documents, definitions (etc), notes.

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Quote of the Day

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