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Business Analysis: Functional & Non-Functional Requirements

Simple Requirements Decomposition / Drill-Down Techniques for Defining Product Behaviors and Qualities

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Preview CourseDuration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Format: Online course
Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway

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What is this course about?

Functional and Non-functional Requirements Can Make or Break Your Project

Business and Stakeholder Requirements define the business need in business terminology that all involved parties can understand, but the devil lies in the detail. Solution Providers (i.e., those responsible for building, buying, assembling, or configuring an IT application) need to know what the application must do, what data it will deal with, and what qualities it must possess to meet the business needs. In other words, they need Functional and Non-functional (aka Solution) Requirements at a level of detail that most subject matter experts can only provide when prompted and led.

In this course you will learn simple and repeatable techniques for extracting solution-level specifications from business and stakeholder requirements that are expressed in complete sentence form. Applying the presented techniques will help you identify specific functions the solution needs. You will also discover hidden non-functional needs (e.g., performance, usability, reliability, etc.) related to the functions.

My co-author, Angela, and I have used these techniques on hundreds of IT projects around the globe and we know the value each provides. Using these approaches will improve your ability to identify and document requirements at the level of detail that solution providers (vendors or developers) need to deliver the right technology for their organization.

The presented techniques will work on any set of well-expressed requirement statements. However, they were specifically designed for and work best with requirement statements that follow the “Rules for Writing Effective Requirements” that we present in our course “Writing Requirements for IT – Simply Put!”.

Regardless of your job title or role, if you are involved in defining future business solutions, this book will help you communicate your business needs to solution providers. It will reduce the potential for misunderstandings that undermine IT’s ability to deliver the right technology for the business.

How to Get the Most Out of This Course?

To maximize the learning effect, you will have optional, online exercises to assess your understanding of each presented technique. Chapter titles prefaced with the phrase “Exercise” contain a link to online exercises with immediate feedback featuring our recommended resolution and the rationale behind it. These exercises are optional and they do not “test” your knowledge in the conventional sense. Their purpose is to demonstrate the use of the technique more real-life than our explanations can supply. You need Internet access to perform the exercises. We hope you enjoy them and that they make it easier for you to apply the techniques in real life.

You can learn more business analysis techniques by visiting the Business Analysis Learning Store to see a wide selection of business analysis books, eCourses, virtual and face-to-face instructor-led training, as well as a selection of FREE Business Analysis training.

Who should take this course?

  • Product Owners
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • Business- and Customer-side Team Members
  • Agile Team Members
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Systems Analysts and Designers
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining a future IT solution

What Can You Do After the Course?

Upon completion of this course, you can:

  • Decompose well-structured requirement statements to identify Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
  • Give those responsible for designing, building, and/or buying the solution the kind of information they need to make the decisions that are right for the business
  • Identify Informational, Performance, and Constraining Requirements from a list of Functional Requirements
  • Document and manage Business, Stakeholder, Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
  • Capture and clarify Business Rules and External Constraints that mandate limits to the delivered solution
  • Develop measurable Solution Requirements that facilitate End-User Acceptance Testing

Detailed Course Outline

Setting the Stage for Requirements Decomposition

  • Welcome to the Course Free Preview
  • The Value of Solution Requirements Free Preview

Discovering Functional and Informational Requirements

  • Capturing Functional Requirements
  • Exercise: Decomposing Requirements to Functions
  • Documenting Functions
  • Capturing Informational Requirements
  • Exercise: Discovering Informational Components
  • Attributes of Informational Requirements
  • Exercise: Assessing Precision and Currency
  • Summary of Functional Requirements

Capturing Non-Functional Solution Requirements

  • Performance Requirements
  • Exercise: Measurable Qualities
  • Common Performance Measures
  • Exercise: Discovering Performance-based Functions
  • Business Rules and External Factors Free Preview

In Closing

  • Requirements Management Ideas
  • Process and Rule Review
  • Exercise: Final Exam
  • Claim Your Job Aid
  • What Should You Do Next?

Lesson Previews

Requirements Gathering with Use Cases for Business Analysts

Lean Use Cases to identify and write Use Case models and diagrams

Chatting with Humans: User Experience Design (UX) for Chatbots

Simple Conversational Design and Science-based Chatbot Copy that Engages People

Business Analysis: Data Flow Diagrams to Visualize Workflows

Data Flow Diagrams and Process Modeling - Simply Put

Data Flow Diagrams – Simply Put!

Data Flow Diagrams book

Classroom Training – Live, Online: Business Process Modeling and Analysis

Business Process Modeling and Analysis

How To Write User Stories That Deliver Real Business Value

How to Capture, Write, Prioritize, Rightsize and Split User Stories Plus Acceptance Tests with Given-When-Then Scenarios

Requirements Gathering with Use Cases for Business Analysts

Lean Use Cases to identify and write Use Case models and diagrams

Getting and Writing IT Requirements in a Lean and Agile World

Book - Lean Agile User Stories and Features

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