Requirement analysis in the software development or engineering involves the tasks that determine the needs or conditions of users. This is achieved through the production of new or altered product. It takes into account the possibility of conflicting requirements of the various stakeholders, which are either the beneficiaries or the users. The following are the role of requirement analysis in the software development. (Grady 2006)
I. Information Gathering
Gathering of information is a key role in the user requirement analysis. It involves gathering background of information about the users. The information or data gathered is then used in the analysis of the users’ needs. The requirement analysis employs different methods of gathering information, such as: stakeholder analysis, field study and observation, secondary market research and context of use analysis. Stakeholder analysis involves identifying the users that may influence the impact of the system or the product. Field of study and observation involves observing the users of the product while taking notes during the involved activities. Lastly, secondary market research is researching on other related information about the product from the secondary material.
II. Users’ Needs and Identification
Another role of requirement analysis is to ensure that users’ needs are met and identified. To identify users’ needs, different techniques are used in the requirement analysis. These techniques include, user surveys, interviewing focus group and evaluation of an existing or competitor system. (Zuckerman 2010)
User survey entails the usage of written questions to a population sample of users. The users have to answer the questions, according to their needs. The questions are either closed or open.
Focus group involves bringing together the users of the product in a discussion group. It easily helps to identify issues that need to be addressed, since each participant gets stimulated to act by other people who are present.
Another technique that brings out the role of identification of users’ needs is interviewing. Interviewing is used in a situation, whereby the users are questioned about their needs relating to the product. (Zuckerman 2010)
Another technique used is the evaluation of an existing or competitor product. The evaluated competitive or existing product gives the pertinent information about the product that will be developed. It helps to evaluate the effectiveness and satisfaction of the product.
III. Envisioning and Evaluation
Envisioning and evaluation of the product is another crucial role of requirement analysis. The requirement analysis in this case entails the development of prototype. This ensures that the product developed or produced is user-friendly and meets their needs. In this case, affinity, diagramming can be used, since they allow participants to work as a group.
IV. Requirement Specification
Another major role in requirement analysis is the specification of users’ requirements. It ensures that there is a provision of users and organizational requirements and objectives. Techniques and methods used to ensure that there is requirement specification, include: task mapping, requirement categorization, prioritization and criteria setting.
The criterion setting is used to analyze whether the users’ requirement has been achieved. This is mainly done through inspecting by either a team or a user. Anther technique, which is the task mapping, shows how the tasks and the fictional requirements are related. It also shows the system functions of each user for the different tasks that they would perform.