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New Post 5/19/2008 10:36 AM
User is offline rina
17 posts
9th Level Poster

Requiremetns for hardware 


With the help of this forum, I now have a skillset required for BA.

Can you please tell me a direction to take for gathering requirements for a Wireless PDA (Hand held)

We want to use Hand Held or PDA or any other device to load the company softwares so that users  can carry it anywhere and do there work.

Can you please suggest how to gather requirements for it?

All the users want is: a faster device, all in one, the softwares should not slow the hand held device etc etc.

Any suggestions would help.



New Post 5/19/2008 4:08 PM
User is offline VN
34 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Requiremetns for hardware 


You already have plenty of supplementary requirements: “A faster device, all in one, the software should not slow the device.”


   The performance requirement is that the device has to be fast. However “fast” is subjective as is the other requirement that the software should not slow the device. Get some real numbers. Clarify response time for a transaction (average, maximum), throughput (e.g., transactions per second), capacity (e.g., the number of customers or transactions the system can accommodate), degradation modes (what is the acceptable mode of operation when the system has been degraded in some manner), resource utilization: memory, disk, communications, etc. If it is hard to obtain this from the stakeholders, let them compare their performance expectations with the current version of the system.


   Once you have clarified the performance requirements follow with reliability (availability – specify % of time available ( xx.xx%), hours of use, maintenance access, etc;), and supportability - requirements that will enhance the supportability or maintainability of the system being built, including coding standards, naming conventions, class libraries, maintenance access, maintenance utilities.


   Then precede with the usability requirements. Specify the required training time for a normal user and power users to become productive at particular operations, measurable task times for typical tasks, or base usability requirements of the new system on other systems that the users know and like. It may be OK to say that a user of the current version should be able use the PDA version with minimal or no training at all. Specify requirements to conform to common usability standards – e.g., IBM’s CUA standards, or the GUI standards published by Microsoft for Windows 95. Consider visually impaired and colorblind users, as well as users using different languages, if your application will offer multilingual support. And so on.


   Don’t forget the design constraints. The first one that comes to mind is that the PDA has at least 5 times smaller screen than the desktop and it may be black and white for some models.


   Then start thinking about the interfaces. You may specify protocols, ports and logical addresses, etc, so that the software can be developed and verified against the interface requirements. Describe the user, hardware, software and communication interfaces to be developed. Identify how the software will be installed for example. If it uses a database what is required for the transition to the PDA version, etc.


   Don’t forget to include any components that will be purchased, and any licensing requirements or other usage restrictions which are to be exhibited by the software. The necessary legal disclaimers, warranties, copyright notices, patent notice, wordmark, trademark, or logo compliance issues for the software should be detailed as well.


   Any kind of user documentation: online, help, manuals, etc. should be considered.

   You may also include any applicable standards that have to be followed during the design and development.

Handle the business and functional requirements as usual. 

Be specific. Write clear and measurable requirements.


New Post 5/19/2008 11:44 PM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Requiremetns for hardware 

Hi Rina,

You have some specific measures for assessing the success of this project: 1. a faster device (what is the target that will mean it is fast enough?) 2. all in one (target is to have one device) 3. the softwares should not slow the hand held device (what is the target value that will tellyou the hand held device has not been slowed?). You also say "etc etc" - does this mean there are other targets you are aiming tyo achieve?

You then need to define functional and non-functional requirements that will enable the targets to be achieved. You need to define what the solution needs to be able to do, and the scope of it (where will it be used, by whom, performing what processes, requiring what information).

The low level rules for the functional requirements should be documented as logical process models with associated process specifications, data requirements, performance, resilience, security and volumetric requirements. The data requirements themselves should be exapnded to create a logical data model with full specification of primary keys and attrinutes in terms of a definition of what they are, the size and type of data, any relevant domains and data rules, and volumetric information (and data migration requirements if you know them).

You might want to add some technical constraints about how the solution must be wireless and a PDA (I don't understand why though and perhaps you can explain that?).

If I may offer a constructive criticism: the targets as I understand them do not seem to have any inherent benefit. You mention that users need to be able to carry the device so they can do their work. Is this a problem at the moment and if so, how is it impacting the business? Reversing those measures of the negative impact on the business might have some benefit to the business?

Identifying the actual measures that will benefit the business might very well yield some requirements that could otherwise be missed.

Hope this helps,



New Post 5/20/2008 8:01 AM
User is offline rina
17 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Requiremetns for hardware 

Thanks for the suggestions.

At present, users are using HP iPAQ device. And they always have problems with Active Sync, slow reaction time, If using multiple applications, the hand held gets real slow. Its so small for them to carry it whole day in the field trying to complete their audits. Hence we are retiring this device. Also, at the time we decided to go with HP iPAQ, we didnt get a device accroding to the requirements. It was more like, this is the device, put your applications on it.

This is the first time I am going to gather requirements for a device. So any help is welcome.


New Post 5/20/2008 8:02 AM
User is offline rina
17 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Requiremetns for hardware 

Thanks Vessela,

This is a great help!

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