What is functional vs operational requirements?
Functional and operational requirements refer to different aspects of a system’s capabilities.
Functional Requirements: These are the fundamental requirements that describe what the system should do. They specify the behavior of the system in terms of functions or features and include calculations, data processing, business logic, user interface behaviors, and more. Essentially, they detail the operations that a system or subsystem is expected to perform, without detailing the inner workings of how they will be accomplished.
For example, a functional requirement for a banking app might be: “The system must allow users to view their account balance.”
Operational Requirements: These are the conditions under which a system or component must be able to operate, often including real-world conditions. These requirements focus on the environmental, availability, and compatibility needs of the system, among other aspects. They specify the conditions that the system will be used under and often detail system interactions with users and other systems.
Continuing with the banking app example, an operational requirement might be: “The system must be able to handle up to 10,000 simultaneous users,” or “The system must be compatible with Android and iOS devices.”
To summarize, while functional requirements define what a system is supposed to do, operational requirements define the conditions under which it must be able to do so. Both are critical for a complete understanding of a system’s requirements.
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