Recognizing and controlling requirements risk

Live Classroom
Duration: 3 days
Live Virtual Classroom
Duration: 3 days
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This course surveys more than 50 safety tactics to help participants understand how to develop an effective requirements risk management strategy. The course provides participants with hands-on experience of some safety tactics, helping them learn how to avoid failures, how to mitigate the impact of defects, how to minimize communication problems and how to monitor the status as well as master the tactics for staffing, planning and preparing for requirements risk management.

What You'll Learn

  • Understand the nature of requirements risk and the need to control it
  • Avoid requirements-based failures by reconfirming needs and feasibility, managing customer expectations, prioritizing requirements, and incrementally committing to a project
  • Mitigate the impact of requirements-based defects by requiring frequent demos, decoupling vision from build, and building in multilane cycles
  • Minimize communication problems using rich definitions, algebraic formulas, spec patterns, and picture requirements information
  • Monitor requirements status by tracking requirements instability and growth, the accuracy of assumptions, and stakeholder participation
  • Identify unclear, imprecise, and missing information using requirements analysis and reviews with stakeholders
  • Staff for requirements development by building a cross-functional team and practicing team success factors
  • Plan for requirements risk management by eliciting meta-requirements, by brainstorming risks, risk indicators, and root causes, and by developing a requirements risk management strategy
  • Prepare for requirements risk management by formulating a baseline requirements development process, providing tools, developing defect and root cause profiles, and conducting requirements retrospectives


  • Challenge of communication
  • Why review and analysis don’t fit find most defects
  • Role of human factors
  • Why requirements are dangerous

  • Application risk
  • Stakeholder risk
  • Process risk
  • Resource risk
  • Change risk
  • Implementation risk
  • Defect risk
  • Exercise: Participants identify their requirements risks. Then, teams share their risks with the entire group.

  • Recognizing requirements risk
  • Forecasting project-specific dangers
  • Developing a strategy
  • Monitoring reality

  • Reconfirm reality and satisfiability of stated needs
  • Triage and prioritize requirements
  • Manage customer expectations
  • Reconfirm project feasibility or reduce scope
  • Identify and resolve conflicts early
  • Commit incrementally
  • Exercise: The entire group identifies challenges of incremental commitment — why might it be hard?
  • Require frequent demos of understanding
  • Decouple vision from build
  • Prototype unfamiliar functions and interfaces
  • Subdivide project scope
  • Build in multilane cycles
    • Maintain a climate of safety and respect
    • Document assumptions
    • Mark intentional imprecision
    • Use rich definitions
    • Use derived values rather than “magic numbers”
    • Identify user types and create user personas
    • Clarify with examples and measures
    • Structure information with spec patterns
    • Picture requirements information
    • Capture context
    • Exercise: Teams create rich definitions including a derived value, quality profile, and action contract. Team definitions are shared with the entire group.
    • Exercise: Teams replace a “magic number” with a derived value.
    • Exercise: Teams create a state transition table and then share with the entire group.

    • Improve results of current requirements development process
    • Identify minimal sets of marketable features
    • Focus on quality and environmental requirements early
    • Identify impacts and mitigation strategies
    • Analyze benefits, risks, priority, and cost of proposed requirements and changes

    • Monitor requirements instability and growth
    • Monitor accuracy of assumptions, expectations, and priorities
    • Monitor stakeholder participation
    • Use workshops to find issues early
    • Incrementally review long specifications
    • Identify unclear, imprecise, and missing information
    • Estimate defect risk
    • Verify satisfaction arguments of derived requirements
    • Track requirements defects
    • Analyze and classify requirements defects and root causes
    • Exercise: The entire group interprets requirements change measures.

    • Build cross-functional team
    • Supplement with outside knowledge, skill, and experience
    • Replace underperformers and disruptors
    • Train stakeholders in technical communication
    • Immerse stakeholders

  • Elicit meta-requirements
  • Brainstorm risks and tactics
  • Identify risk indicators and root causes
  • Customize requirements development and specification strategy
  • Customize, carry out, and monitor requirements risk management strategy
  • Exercise: Team brainstorms risks and tactics for a case study and then share results with the entire group
    • Formulate baseline requirements process(es)
    • Systematize change management and requirements defect and failure tracking
    • Provide tools supporting safer requirements
    • Develop requirements defect and root cause profiles
    • Conduct requirements retrospectives

    • Estimate and track requirements-based rework
    • Adjust for surprises, both good and bad
    • Exercise: Teams walk through the tactics usage process
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    Who should attend

    The course is highly recommended for –

    • Project sponsors
    • System users
    • Development directors
    • Project managers and leads
    • Requirements managers, leads and analysts
    • System architects
    • Functional designers
    • Verification and test leads
    • Quality assurance staff
    • Process improvement leads


    Minimum one year of requirements development experience is recommended.

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