Chapter 19Requirements Engineering: The Key to Building the Right Product

James Rivera and Eric Verzuh

James Rivera has more than 20 years experience as a business analyst and project manager in the manufacturing and high-tech industries. He has authored requirements engineering courses and taught them in both university and business settings.


Project success—delivering the right product at the right time for the promised cost—is intimately tied to developing a clear agreement about the features and performance of the product or service being produced. Equally important is maintaining agreement on this product vision throughout the project and actually delivering it. The techniques and processes associated with developing this shared product vision and delivering on that promise comprise requirements engineering.

Despite this intimate relationship, requirements engineering is rarely considered within the scope of project management. Rather, it is its own discipline that can be completely understood only in the context of what's being produced. For example, the exact processes and techniques for documenting the desired features and performance of an office building will differ from those associated with developing an accounting software package or a space shuttle.

Certain requirements engineering principles transcend industries, so the framework in this chapter should be useful to everyone. However, since the projects that most consistently suffer from requirements ...

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