Project Management

[ Project Management Topics ]

Scope, Requirements, and Specifications


Requirements are often set by objectives. A requirement is basically an objective that must be met.

There are actually several kinds of requirements; the term requirement is awkward because it describes the concept of an objective or goal or necessary characteristic, but at the same time the term also describes a kind of formal documentation, namely the requirements document.

Requirements basically refer to the general set of documents that describe what a project is supposed to accomplish and how the project is supposed to be created and implemented. Such a general set of requirements would include documents spelling out the various requirements for the project -- the "what" -- as well as specifications documents spelling out the rules for creating and developing the project -- the "how".

Some things to consider:


Specifications set the rules.

A project's specifications consist of the body of information that should guide the project developers, engineers, and designers through the work of creating the product/service.

A specification document describes how something is supposed to be done. This document may be very detailed, defining the minutia of the implementation.for example, a specifications document may list out all of the possible error states for a certain form, along with all of the error messages that should be displayed to the user. The specifications may describe the steps of any functional interaction, and the order in which they should be followed by the user. A requirements document, on the other hand, would state that the software must handle error states reasonably and effectively, and provide explicit feedback to the users. The specifications show how to meet this requirement.

Specifications may take several forms. They can be a straightforward listing of functional attributes, they can be diagrams or schematics of functional relationships or flow logic, or they can occupy some middle ground. Specifications can also be in the form of prototypes, mockups, and models.

Some things to consider: