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New Post 8/12/2008 1:06 PM
User is offline Jim
15 posts
9th Level Poster


Business Requirements vs Functional Requirements 

Hello,

I always struggle with the level of detail that should be expressed for the requirements at the business/user level vs the functional level.  I was wondering if anyone had a good example, like a case study or sample project, with documents describing the business requirements for the project and the corresponding functional requirements?  I am interested to see the level at which the business/user requirements are documented and compare them to the level of detail flushed out in the functional requirements.

This forum is great by the way!  I just came apon it and there is a wealth of great information.  I will be returning often for advice and to bounce ideas around.

Thanks - Jim

 
New Post 8/13/2008 5:05 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Re: Business Requirements vs Functional Requirements 

Hey

I have two tools I think are useful.

  1. The Zachmanenterprise architecture framework.  It targets enterprise analysis but it's principles apply really well to enterprise applications requirements as well.
  2. User stories, which are popular with agile project are also useful in a broad range of application dev projects.

You'll find good info on each of these below;

User Stories

Zachman,

Zachman, RUP and UML

 

But more imprtantly, a developer reminded me today that they are the ones who need to read and understadn specs, so why not go and speak with them about what works best for them?

 
New Post 8/13/2008 3:13 PM
User is offline Tony Markos
492 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Business Requirements vs Functional Requirements 

Hi:

Are business requirements seperate from functional requirements.  The way I learned it, there are essential requirements and non-essential requirements.  Essential requirements exist irregardless of who or what mechanism accoplishes them.  Example:  Calculate Sales Tax.   Depending upon the company, this requirement could be met  by a person, a hand-held calculator, or a computer.  It will always need to be done - but the mechanism may change.  

Now a requirement like:  "Adjust the Servo Modulator" - which is, lets say, a prerequiste to a computer program being able to "Calculate Sales Tax" is non-essential.   If, for example, we throw away the computer and go back to having a person calculate sales tax, then, we no longer need to "Adjust the Servo Modulator".

Tony

 
New Post 8/13/2008 11:15 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
www.betterprojects.net
4th Level Poster




Re: Business Requirements vs Functional Requirements 

Tony, the way I understand this is that the different types of requirements are contextual.  That's why I like the zachman model.

Business reqs are about the business goals,functional are about the system.

This also highlights the iterative nature of requiremnts definitions - as you peel off layers more constraints and solution decisions get embedded into the specs.

Of course your data flow diagrams also handle this layered approach to reqirements pretty well.

 

 
New Post 8/14/2008 1:53 PM
User is offline Tony Markos
492 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Business Requirements vs Functional Requirements 

Craig:

I have heard of this concept many times:  a Buiness req (function) is different that a system function.    But my experience has always been that functions is functions .  If we don't incorporate them all into a single model, how are ever going to capture a complex as-is situation where the system currently consists of functions accomplished by men and computers - and maybe even machines and electronics?

Tony

 

 
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