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Telling Stories: A Short Path to Writing Better Software Requirements by Ben Rinzler

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Chapter 6. Creating the Body of the Document

With your document well planned, and having conducted initial meetings with the product team and subject matter experts, you're now ready to assemble summaries, diagrams, and process descriptions into a compelling story. You will most likely create two compelling stories: the current state and the future state. I will also explore the importance of a few types of nonnarrative content like a gap analysis, data specification, and requirements summary.

The current and future states both have very similar, if not identical, structures. Both include an arrangement of elements, most of which I have already covered, similar to the following:

  • A short introduction to the main processes of the current state

  • A list of nonfunctional requirements and business rules

  • A high-level diagram that shows the entire work of the system and how it interacts with other systems (a context diagram)

  • One or more data flow diagrams (including summaries)

  • Process descriptions and requirements for all processes

Is Documenting the Current State Really Necessary?

Use a current state analysis when a manual business process is being automated for the first time, or when an existing system is being substantially changed. A thorough current state analysis captures what is being done, so that the future system will meet the same requirements. If you are working on a completely new process that is now not functioning at all, you may be able skip the current state and go straight to ...

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