Business Analysis: Functional Non-Functional Requirements
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- Decompose well-structured requirement statements to identify Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
- Give those responsible for designing, building, and/or buying the solution the kind of information they need to make the decisions that are right for the business
- Identify Informational, Performance, and Constraining Requirements from a list of Functional Requirements
- Document and manage Business, Stakeholder, Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
- Capture and clarify Business Rules and External Constraints that mandate limits to the delivered solution
- Develop measurable Solution Requirements that facilitate End-User Acceptance Testing
- No technical background required
- Desire to define non-functional requirements for IT
- Interest in the field of business analysis
- HTML5 compatible browser for exercises (quizzes)
- No additional materials are required
Functional and Non-functional Requirements Can Make or Break Your Project
Business and Stakeholder Requirements define the business need in business terminology that all involved parties can understand, but the devil lies in the detail. Solution Providers (i.e., those responsible for building, buying, assembling, or configuring an IT application) need to know what the application must do, what data it will deal with, and what qualities it must possess to meet the business needs. In other words, they need Functional and Non-functional (aka Solution) Requirements at a level of detail that most subject matter experts can only provide when prompted and led.
In this course, you will learn simple and repeatable techniques for extracting solution-level specifications from business and stakeholder requirements that are expressed in complete sentence form. Applying the presented techniques will help you identify specific functions the solution needs. You will also discover hidden non-functional needs (e.g., performance, usability, reliability, etc.) related to the functions.
My co-author, Angela, and I have used these techniques on hundreds of IT projects around the globe and we know the value each provides. Using these approaches will improve your ability to identify and document requirements at the level of detail that solution providers (vendors or developers) need to deliver the right technology for their organization.
The presented techniques will work on any set of well-expressed requirement statements. However, they were specifically designed for and work best with requirement statements that follow the “Rules for Writing Effective Requirements” that we present in our course “Writing Requirements for IT – Simply Put!”.
Regardless of your job title or role, if you are involved in defining future business solutions, this book will help you communicate your business needs to solution providers. It will reduce the potential for misunderstandings that undermine IT’s ability to deliver the right technology for the business.
How to get the most out of this book?
To maximize the learning effect, you will have optional, online exercises to assess your understanding of each presented technique. Chapter titles prefaced with the phrase “Exercise” contain a link to online exercises with immediate feedback featuring our recommended resolution and the rationale behind it.
These exercises are optional and they do not “test” your knowledge in the conventional sense. Their purpose is to demonstrate the use of the technique more real-life than our explanations can supply. You need Internet access to perform the exercises. We hope you enjoy them and that they make it easier for you to apply the techniques in real life.
- Subject Matter Experts
- Product Owners
- Business Process Managers
- Business Process Users
- Product and Project Managers
- Line Managers
- Business System Analysts
- Anyone wearing the BA hat!
There are two fundamentally different types of solution-level requirements that developers need to deliver the application the business needs: Functional and Non-Functional. Understanding the difference is a critical skill for the one wearing the business analysis hat. This chapter covers:
- Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
- Learning Objectives
This lecture Describes how to identify and extract functional requirements from business and stakeholder requirements expressed in complete sentences. It answers the questions:
- What Are Functional Requirements?
- Where Do You Find Functional Requirements?
Are you working in an Agile Environment? Watch the video below (Non-Functional Requirements Add Value to User Stories).
This lecture describes how to identify and extract informational requirements based on a list of functional requirements. It answers the questions:
- What Are Informational Requirements?
- What Is the Relationship between Functional and Informational Requirements?
- How Do You Find Informational Requirements?
This lecture presents commonly needed informational requirement attributes that the one wearing the Business Analysis hat is often responsible for capturing. It includes the topics:
- Documenting Informational Components
- Usability Requirements Define User Views
- Defining Data Elements
- Algorithms for Derivable Data
- Data Element Accuracy
Test your understanding of accuracy requirements. The requirements are from the accounting and cash forecasting system that we used in an earlier quiz. Again, you do not need any knowledge of either type of application for this quiz.
We will provide you with 5 requirements. Select the non-functional category for this requirement.
Constraints express absolute limits that any solution has to meet or it will fail. In this section, we define, contrast, and present examples of both internal and external constraints. Internal constraints are often expressed in the form of business policies or business rules whereas external constraints are imposed by the physical or regulatory environment.