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Survey: Requirements gathering challenges remain
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Posted by: Miche on Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gathering requirements is job number one for the development team today. According to's 2008 Agile Trends survey, when it comes to application lifecycle management, organizations are often thwarted when they try to figure out what users want. Effectively gathering user requirements has never been easy -- and it is not getting easier as development teams seek to employ more Agile processes.

Requirements gathering was cited by 31% of respondents to the survey as the lifecycle area with which they have the most difficulty. That beats process improvement (12%), software testing (12%), and application performance management (8%) as certified areas of pain.

Requirements have often been cited as a stumbling block. So, what is new? The rise of Agile development processes has changed requirements as much as any other part of development. Agile-based principles are more open to adding and refining requirements later in the development process and to having as thin a level of document detail as possible -- less detail than was common in requirements gathering for traditional software processes.

With the Agile movement has come an upsurge in use of user stories to gather requirements -- user stories being seen as a more agile way to elicit user needs.

But the user story, cited as a requirements gathering technique by 26% of our survey respondents, remains just one of many requirements techniques. Agile Trend survey respondents tended to select several techniques. User requirements models (40%), focus groups (41%) and the ubiquitous spreadsheet (35%) are also part of the wide requirements gathering tool kit of 2008.





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