Requirements Quality Measurement

Requirements are the single biggest cause of project problems. Have yours assessed and reported upon before they become a problem.

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Covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), if appropriate.


Why would we want to measure requirements quality?

  • the most basic reason: do we have a requirements problem, and if so, how big a problem do we have, i.e., as an input to estimating the amount of work in performing a requirements analysis to transform “not good enough” to “good enough”?
  • we are managers and have staff developing a requirements specification or doing a requirements analysis. Are they working effectively?
  • we set a standard for our requirements specifications in terms of the value of a requirements quality metric, or more probably four values for different circumstances:
  • original novel development in demanding circumstances
  • original novel development in non-demanding circumstances
  • very routine development
  • non-developmental acquisition
  • we set a standard for our requirements specifications for entry into a System Requirements Review or Software Requirements Review.

Of all the metrics in use in engineering, a requirements quality metric can be one of the most powerful, addressing, as it does, historically the single biggest problem in engineering: developing the wrong thing. Setting an objective standard for requirements does not guarantee problem-free requirements, but it can greatly reduce the level of risk

PPI is pleased to offer to our clients worldwide a service to assess and report the quality of the requirements for a client-nominated system or product using formal Requirements Quality Measurement (RQM).

Assessment and Reporting of Requirements Quality

PPI will measure the Requirements Quality and provide to you by email a report containing:

  • a statement of the requirements quality values measured by PPI on requirements relating to a client system or product, the requirements having been provided by the client to PPI. The requirements quality will be expressed using PPI’s recommended Requirements Quality Metric. Two values are reported, viz. the quality of the requirements that are there, and the quality adjusted to allow for the number of requirements estimated to be needed, but missing
  • an assessment of the level of risk related to defects in the requirements, based on the measured values and the circumstances of use of the requirements, as advised to PPI by the client
  • an overview of any systemic defects in the requirements
  • an Excel spreadsheet containing all data forming a part of the measurement and reporting.

What input is needed from the client?

You provide to us, typically by email:

  • the requirements specification for the system or product, in English, including, if possible, any documents invoked by reference in requirements as being fully or partly applicable
  • an overview of intended use of the item that is subject to the requirements specification, in terms of users, uses, how it is to be used, and the external conditions during use. An overview of a third to one page of information is envisioned
  • a completed short questionnaire of twelve questions addressing the intended use of the requirements specification, including whether contracts are involved, and if so, the form of contract (e.g. competitive fixed-price bidding/tendering and subsequent contract, or whatever alternative form) and other information. If development is involved, the context of development. The time to complete this questionnaire is estimated to be about 10 minutes
  • response by email to any questions raised by PPI in performing the requirements quality assessment, and potentially, one or two brief phone conversations.

The timing of performance of this service can be negotiated depending on the needs of the client and the availability of PPI consultants. Typical time from tasking to delivery of the report is a few days. All information exchanged between the client and PPI is, of course, confidential, and can be subject to a formal Non-Disclosure Agreement if desired.

Click here for Robert Halligan’s ‘Requirements Quality Metrics Paper with Addendum’ paper.

Schedule of fees:

Payment terms – 30 days for approved clients

This could be one of the highest Return on Investment decisions available to your enterprise.

For more information please contact Randall Iliff:

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