Development Models   «Prev  Next»

Lesson 7 The requirements definition and the Design phase
Objective Describe the requirements definition, design and architecture specification.

Design Phase Requirements Definition and the Design Phase

Requirements definition: the Thin specification

The requirements definition is a critical deliverable in Web development projects, serving as the initial design document for the Web site. It is often referred to as a functional specification, or a "thin spec." The requirements definition describes the technical and creative aspects of the site, the functional specifications, and how the Web implementation actually meets the business needs of the client.

Help your client to participate

A well-prepared requirements definition helps ensure that stakeholders fully understand what the site will offer. The stakeholders' review of the requirements definition allows them to respond and correct any problems prior to development of the design and architecture specification and actual development of the site. The design and architecture specification will be used by the development team as a blueprint. Therefore, in any Web development project, approval from key stakeholders on both of these documents is critical.
Without prior understanding of the design specifications, stakeholders may misunderstand how the site will function, how it will look, and what features will be present. If the client feels that its expectations were not met, the Web project may be viewed as a failure.

Question: What is the difference between the functions of the requirements definition and the design and architecture specification.
Answer: The requirements definition is produced for the client to review so that they will further confirm their agreement with the Web team.
The requirements definition is also the starting point for developing the design and architecture specification. The design and architecture specification functions as a blueprint for the web team to work from as they work. Remember that the way for each role to meet objectives and produce the deliverables is through activities. Now that you have been introduced to the planning documents, let's look at who is responsible for developing them in the next lesson.

Description: Defining requirements specifies the capabilities, features or attributes of the project's deliverables. Stakeholder desires are analyzed to derive the requirements. Requirements are prioritized to determine which requirements will be included and excluded from the project.
  1. Establish consensus and common ground among project stakeholders and participants
  2. Form the basis for project deliverables
  3. Ensure the customer receives a product or service with the functionality requested
  4. Define stakeholder expectations as specific results
  5. Set the stage for effective project planning
Who is involved? Project Manager, Project Sponsor, Project Stakeholders, Project Customer
Functional Requirements: This information is included in a separate section of your project charter.