Guideline: What is a Requirement?
What is a Requirement?
This information was taken directly from the BABOK Guide, Version 2.0.


Main Description

A requirement is:

1.       A condition or capability needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or achieve an objective.

2.       A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a solution component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed documents.

3.       A documented representation of a condition or capability as in 1 or 2.

As implied by this definition, a requirement may be unstated, implied by or derived from other requirements, or directly stated and managed. One of the key objectives of business analysis is to ensure that requirements are visible to and understood by all stakeholders.

The term “requirements” is one that generates a lot of discussion within the business analysis community. Many of these debates focus on what should or should not be considered requirements, and what are the necessary characteristics of a requirement. Requirements include, but are not limited to, past, present, and future conditions or capabilities in an enterprise and descriptions of organizational structures, roles, process, policies, rules, and information systems. A requirement may describe the current or the future state of any aspect of the enterprise.

Requirements Classification Schemes

·         Business Requirements are higher-level statements of the goals, objectives, or needs of the enterprise. They describe the reasons why a project has been initiated, the objectives that the project will achieve, and the metrics that will be used to measure success. Business requirements describe needs of the organization as a whole, and not groups or stakeholders within it. They are developed and defined through enterprise analysis.


·         Stakeholder Requirements are statements of the needs of a particular stakeholder or class of stakeholders. They describe the needs that a given stakeholder has and how that stakeholder will interact with a solution. Stakeholder requirements serve as a bridge between business requirements and the various class of solution requirements. They are developed and defined through requirement analysis.


·         Solution Requirements describe the characteristics of a solution that meet business requirements and stakeholder requirements. They are developed and defined through requirement analysis. They are frequently divided into sub-categories particularly when the requirements describe a software solution.


o   Functional Requirements describe the behavior and information that the solution will manage. They describe capabilities the system will be able to perform in terms of behaviors or operations-specific information technology application actions or responses.


o   Non-functional Requirements capture conditions that do not directly relate to the behaviors or functionality of the solution, but rather describe environmental conditions under which the solution must remain effective or qualities that the system must have. They are also known as quality or supplementary requirements. These can include requirements related to capacity, speed, security, availability and the information architecture and presentation of the user interface.


·         Transition Requirements describe capabilities that the solution must have in order to facilitate transition from the current state of the enterprise to a desired future state, but that will not be needed once that transition is complete. They are differentiated from other requirements types because they are always temporary in nature and because they cannot be developed until both an existing and new solution are defined. They typically cover data conversion from existing systems, skill gaps that must be addressed, and other related changes to reach the desired future state. They are developed and defined through solution assessment and validation.