What is the most frequently reported cause of software project failure–regardless of project size or type of software? Requirements challenges. Discover how leading-edge companies use requirements engineering to support successful software projects. Learn the three purposes of requirements and how to distinguish between requirements fantasies and requirements reality. Practice practical techniques for exploring user needs, capturing requirements, controlling changes, and building highly satisfactory software.

3-day seminar


    Stars 4.4 3016 Ratings

    "Most Valuable: Working sessions with teams to apply what we learned. The discussions that followed were good to correlate to our environment as well! Earl was excellent! Kept the class interesting and provided great examples to reinforce concepts and techniques. Maintained high energy throughout. "  -- Suzanne Greene, Rockwell Automation

    "Most Valuable: Instructor's deep knowledge of the subject matter and so many relevant examples are cited. Content full of references for further reading."  -- Sandeep Das, SAP 

    "This was an excellent seminar - almost too good, in that there is so much good content and not enough time to let it really sink in."  -- Bob Shepheard, Navman Wireless

    "Great class,well constructed, excellently delivered."  -- Christian Richard, Philips AED

    "Most valuable? Talking with others and seeing that they have the same issues. Thanks for a great training, good teacher, good food, good view. Can't beat it."  -- Matthew Buza, Micro Encoder

    "Thanks - Excellent course."  -- Bruce Rankin, EBMUD

    "Got to know many new concepts which we can use to simplify and better the requirements gathering process. Liked Steve's style of conducting the training. It was very interactive."  -- Vikram Saluja, SAP

    "Most valuable: Different techniques for prioritizing requirements. Also the samples and templates are superior. Some of the best I have ever seen in over 20 years."  -- Don Evatt, Cisco

    "Probably the best instructor I have ever had."  -- Brent Andersen, Cambridge Associates

    "The course was an excellent way to learn about real requirements problems faced in real projects and other organizations. "  -- Madhavi Maheshwari, Tavant Technologies

    "Most seminars and training give me only a few good thoughts. This has given me tools!"  -- Nathan Lockard, Who's Calling

    "Provided clear understanding of what requirements are. Cleared up much confusion on the topic."  -- Timo Kissel, Fetch Technologies

    "Most valuable: requirements management, gathering the correct requirements - Earl was fantastic - could not have asked for a better instructor."  -- Jennifer Fritzsche, HomeStreet Bank

    "I am thrilled with all the info this class provided & how well it was presented. Also, I have had conversations with people who have taken this course in the past and talk highly of the class & instructor. I will do the same."  -- Jennifer Styezen, Lowes

    "Excellent!! Course design, delivery, & access to the material are all helpful. I wish I had taken this class years ago!"  -- Laurie Anna Kaplan

    "Earl is a great instructor. His humor and personal stories kept it interesting. Thank you Earl!"  -- Anne Marie Herron, Starbucks

    "One of the most valuabel trainings I've ever had."  -- Kayla Capps, Ventana Medical Systems/Roche

    "Helped me understand the process of better way of requirements gathering and a  better way of communicating with everyone involved in the process."  -- Krishna Garlapatik, Cross Country Healthcare

    "Great instructor. Good mix of examples, labs, and instruction. Instructor was able to adapt to the flow of the class."  -- Mike Collyer, Best Software

    "Most valuable: Discovery of methods and tools to deal with which, until this course, always seemed fuzzy and undefined in the literature."  -- Leeland Arta, Nintendo of America

    "Really good use of my 3 days! "  -- Annie Wynn, Trend Micro

    "The real world examples provided by the instructor makes the class more enjoyable and expands on the info on the slides. Also the toolbox concept is excellent!"  -- Craig Luther, PPB

    "I had a great time and learned a lot."  -- Joy Bresina, RxAmerica

    "Most Valuable: How to break down larger projects into smaller managable groups and how to conduct productive interviews and meetings."  -- Aprill Carver, RxAmerica

    "The best professional seminar I've ever attended."  -- Jennifer Bundy, Guy Carpenter & Company


    Who Should Attend

    Business analysts, requirements analysts, technical leads, project leads, project managers, program managers, developers, testers, and all others who want to develop better requirements.

    Certification Information

    21 PDU

    PDU Reporting Instructions


    All of our public classes are held at the Construx Training Center

    Software Requirements: What and Why

    • Requirements: fantasies and real world
    • What is a requirement?
    • Three purposes of requirements
    • Product and project requirements
    • Levels and types of requirements
    • Characteristics of good individual requirements
    • Characteristics of good sets of requirements
    • The Vision Statement as the top-level requirement
    • Requirements as a risk management activity
    • Knowing when you're done

    The Requirements Process

    • Comprehensive strategies for defining requirements
    • Iterative elicitation, analysis, specification, and validation
    • Breadth-first approaches
    • Depth-first approaches
    • Spiral approaches
    • Tools: chartering workshop, collaborative development, risk management, parallel development

    Requirements Elicitation

    • Who has requirements?
    • Eliciting requirements from people
    • Eliciting requirements from other systems
    • Eliciting requirements from the environment
    • Finding the decision maker
    • Incorporating business rules
    • Finding the abnormal and exception cases
    • Dealing with ambiguity
    • Tools: interviews, context-free questioning, brainstorming, JAD workshops, prototyping, task analysis, use cases, competitive benchmarking, document archeology, project charter, vision statement

    Who Defines Requirements

    • The requirements engineer
    • Requirements engineering roles
    • Skills needed to develop requirements effectively
    • How the requirements engineer relates to the rest of the project
    • Checklist for requirements leads

    Requirements Analysis

    • Classification and prioritization schemes
    • Requirements negotiation
    • Tools: prototypes, use cases, essential systems modeling, data dictionary

    Requirements Specification

    • Characteristics of a good requirement specification
    • Models as specification
    • Guidelines for writing requirements
    • Picking the right model for the task at hand
    • Quantifying qualitative attributes
    • Writing effective use cases
    • Organizing the requirements
    • Achieving right-weight documentation
    • Putting it all together: The Software Requirements Specification
    • Tools: usability studies, prototyping, use cases, fit criteria, User Guide as specification, Planguage, context diagrams, information/class diagrams, data flow diagrams, decision tables, state transition diagrams, sequence diagrams, decision tables, data dictionary, project glossary, specification templates

    Requirements Validation

    • What is the difference between validation and verification?
    • Validation techniques
    • Formal and informal inspections
    • Checklists
    • Creating test cases
    • Tools: ambiguity metric, prototyping, requirements reviews and checklists, usability studies

    Requirements Management

    • Why requirements change
    • Role of a requirements baseline
    • Attributes needed to support well-managed requirements
    • Controlling change using corrective activity management
    • Status tracking
    • Tools: change control policy and change control board, traceability tools, version control

    Special Considerations

    • Requirements in outsourced projects
    • Requirements in maintenance projects
    • Requirements in component-based systems

    Steve Tockey

    Steve Tockey is the Principal Consultant at Construx Software. During more than three and a half decades in the software industry, he has worked as a programmer, ...

    Bob Webber

    Bob Webber is a Senior Fellow at Construx with over 30 years of software experience delivering innovative products in telecommunications, entertainment and life ...

    Earl Beede

    Earl Beede, CSDP is a Senior Fellow at Construx Software, where he designs and leads seminars and provides consulting services on early project-lifecycle practices, ...