Compiling the Needs Data


Your problem analysis will have identified the key stakeholders and users you will need to interview to gain an understanding of the stakeholder's needs. Typically, it does not take many interviews to get a solid understanding of the larger issues.

The Analyst's Summary: 10 + 10 + 10 30


The last section of the interview form, The Analyst's Summary, is used for recording the three most important needs or problems uncovered in the interview. In many cases, after just a few interviews, these highest-priority needs will start to be repeated. This means that you may be starting to get convergence on some common needs. This is to be expected, especially among those users or stakeholders who share a common perspective. So, ten interviews will often create only 10 “15 different needs. This is the start of your requirements repository , a set of assets you will build and use to good advantage over the course of your project. This simple, inexpensive data, even by itself, will help you and your team build a solid foundation with which to initiate your project.

The Case Study


The HOLIS team decided to have the marketing team (Rick and Alyssa) develop the questions for the interview but wanted everyone on the team to experience the process. That way each team member would have the opportunity to meet customers face-to-face and thereby "see" the problem and a potential solution from the customer's perspective. So, the team divided up the customer and distributor list and had each team member interview two people. The team used The Analyst's Summary to summarize the needs that were provided and weeded out the duplicates. After fifteen interviews, the team had identified about twenty needs to fill in the top of the requirements pyramid.

From the homeowner 's perspective:

  • Flexible and modifiable lighting control for entire house

  • "Futureproof" ("As technology changes, I'd like compatibility with new technologies that might emerge.")

  • Attractive, unobtrusive , ergonomic

  • Fully independent and programmable or (reconfigurable) switches for each room in the house

  • Additional security and peace of mind

  • Intuitive operation ("I'd like to be able to explain it to my 'technophobic' mother.")

  • A reasonable system cost, with low switch costs

  • Easy and inexpensive to fix

  • Flexible switch configurations (from one to seven " buttons " per switch)

  • Out of sight, out of mind

  • 100 percent reliability

  • Vacation security settings

  • Ability to create scenes, such as special housewide lighting settings for a party

  • No increase in electrical or fire hazards in the home

  • Ability, after a power failure, to restore the lights the way they were

  • Programmable by the homeowner, using an existing PC

  • Dimmers wherever the homeowner wants them

  • Programmable by the homeowner, without using a PC

  • Programmable by somebody else, so the homeowner doesn't have to do it

  • Ability to turn on some lights manually if the system fails

  • Interfaces to the home security system

  • Interfaces to other home automation (HVAC, audio/video, and so on)

From the distributor's perspective:

  • A competitive product offering

  • Some strong product differentiation

  • An easy way to train salespeople

  • Ability to demonstrate the system in the shop

  • High gross margins


Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
Managing Software Requirements[c] A Use Case Approach
ISBN: 032112247X
Year: 2003
Pages: 257 © 2008-2017.
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