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Reducing Ambiguity in Business Requirements - Case Study Example

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Ambiguous business requirements have different meaning and interpretation to end users and software developers and this leads to business system failures (Haag, Baltzan &…
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Reducing Ambiguity in Business Requirements
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Reducing Ambiguity in Business Requirements Why are ambiguous business requirements the leading causes of system development failures Business requirements are factors that a business needs to deliver or provide in order to create value. Ambiguous business requirements have different meaning and interpretation to end users and software developers and this leads to business system failures (Haag, Baltzan & Philips, 2005). Ambiguous requirements also make the IT developers to have inaccurate estimations of users leading to the development of systems with insufficient or redundant guidelines. Such systems are unsustainable and this leads to failure.
2. Why do the words and or tend to lead to ambiguous requirements?
The word “and” has different meaning and interpretation to several people. On the other hand, the word “or” implies uncertainty. This implies that any rules developed from such word will have different meaning interpretations to different people. This makes the end users in the system to have different interpretation for a particular process leading to ambiguity or bad business requirements.
3. Research the web and determine other reasons for “bad” business requirements.
Although ambiguous business requirements are a major cause of bad business requirements, they are not the only reasons behind bad business requirements. Deficiency in requirements is the second cause of bad business requirement. Deficient requirements are requirements with insufficient rules or rules that do not consider all end users involved in the system. Errors in requirements are also a major cause of bad business requirements. Error in business leads to wrong interpretation by different users leading to bad requirement. Requirements without boundary conditions also lead to the development of bad business requirement. Boundary conditions are rules that define limits according to rights and or wrongs. Lacks or specification on people required to run the system is also a cause of bad business requirements. Lack of the word I or we in the requirement will lead to the development of bad business requirements. Such words specify the roles or requirements of different people required to run the system. In addition, lack of specification of component or feature in the system causes the production of bad business requirements. A bad business requirement therefore lacks specification of the people or a group of people that requires taking a certain action. Most business requirements focus on the technology rather than the business outcome of a system. A system that is biased towards technology has bad business requirements. Finally, bad requirements lack the ability to be traced back to main decision makers in the business.
4. What is wrong with the following business requirement: “The system must support employee birthdays because every employee always has a birthday every year.”
A requirement that state that the system must support employee’s birthday is a bad requirement. Firstly, the word must imply certainty indicating that the system support employee’s birthday regardless of the end users. Although supporting employee’s birthday motivates employees of a business, such requirements are unnecessary. An information system that support employee’s birthday has redundant requirement. This is because a birthday is only important to an employee as an individual and not to the business. Different employees can also share a birthday and this will lead to the formation of ambiguous business requirement. It could also be a redundant requirement since not all employees’ value or celebrate birthdays. Other employees may prefer keeping their birthdays anonymous and therefore would not want to be included in the plan. Some birthdays could also fall in public holidays or during the time when an employee is on leave or vacation.
Haag, S. Baltzan, P. & Philips, A. (2005). Business Driven Technology. India: McGraw-Hill. Read More
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