Requirements gathering

Synonyms: product requirements document, PRD, user requirements capture, user requirements, collecting requirements, user needs research

Requirements gathering is the process of generating a list of requirements from the various stakeholders or customers, users that will be used as the basis. These practices include interviews, questionnaires, user observation, workshops, brainstorming, use cases, role playing and prototyping.


There is famous cartoon entitled “Project Cartoon” captures the sad reality behind bad requirements gathering:


«gather dust»

The requirements gathering process may appear simple, but often may arise issues that complicate it. Most challenges were indicated in 1992 by Christel and Kang:

  1. Problems of scope
  2. The boundary is ill-defined
  3. Users specify unnecessary details
  4. Problems of understanding
  5. Poor understanding of the capabilities and limitations
  6. Problems of volatility
  7. Undocumented processes
  8. Conflicting requirements
  9. Lack of access to end users
  10. Focusing on visual aspects rather than on functional

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