requirements analysis example
Requirements analysis is the process of documenting the needs and expectations of the stakeholders of a software or system application. The aim is to detail what an application should do and how it will be used.
Let’s use an example of a hypothetical online book store system to illustrate requirements analysis:
- Stakeholder Identification: The first step in requirements analysis is identifying the stakeholders involved in or affected by the system. For the online book store, this could include customers, system administrators, payment processors, suppliers, and customer service representatives.
- Gathering Requirements: Next, you gather information about what each stakeholder needs from the system. For example:
- Customers may need to be able to search for books, view book details, add books to a shopping cart, review their order, and make a purchase.
- System administrators may need to add or remove books from the inventory, change prices, and view sales reports.
- Payment processors need to verify payment information and process transactions.
- Suppliers might need to check inventory levels and receive notifications of low stock.
- Customer service representatives may need to view customer orders, handle returns and refunds, and respond to customer inquiries.
- Analyzing Requirements: Once you’ve gathered the requirements, you’ll analyze them to make sure they’re clear, complete, relevant, and realistic. You might need to prioritize requirements if there are resource constraints or other limiting factors. In this phase, you might realize that some requirements are not feasible or are out of the project scope, and some requirements might be dependent on others.
- Documenting Requirements: After analysis, the requirements are documented in a formal requirements specification. This document serves as a contract specifying what the system will do. A requirement for the online bookstore could be written as: “The system shall allow the user to add a book to their shopping cart.”
- Validating Requirements: Finally, you’ll review the requirements with the stakeholders to make sure they accurately represent what is needed. This is a critical step to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the system that’s being developed will meet the stakeholders’ needs.
This example simplifies the process, but it gives an idea of what requirements analysis might look like for a concrete system. In practice, requirements analysis can be much more complex and iterative, with requirements being revised, refined, and reprioritized as more information becomes available and circumstances change.