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Software Requirements by Karl E Wiegers and Joy Beatty

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Chapter 15. Risk reduction through prototyping

“Sharon, today I’d like to talk with you about the requirements that the buyers in the Purchasing Department have for the new Chemical Tracking System,” began Lori, the business analyst. “Can you tell me what you want to be able to do with the system?”

“I’m not sure what to say,” replied Sharon with a puzzled expression. “I can’t describe what I need, but I’ll know it when I see it.”

The phrase IKIWISI—“I’ll know it when I see it”—chills the blood of business analysts. It conjures an image of the development team having to make their best guess at the right software to build, only to have users tell them, “Nope, that’s not right; try again.” To be sure, envisioning a future software system and articulating ...

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