Specifying Software Requirements


Every year the global business community wastes billions of dollars on entirely preventable failures in the software acquisition process. One of the most common failure modes is embarking on a software project without an adequate statement of requirements. Attend this workshop and this should not happen to you. We cover the essential practices for the orderly transformation of an end-user problem into a complete, correct, unambiguous, implementable and verifiable software product specification. These practices apply to acquiring both bespoke and off-the-shelf software. The scope of the workshop includes requirements capture, analysis, specification and management. Presented by a practicing professional software engineer with more than thirty years industry experience the workshop focusses on the practical skills required to deploy the software that your business needs.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the requirements capture process. Work effectively with subject matter experts to discover the essential requirements of computing systems.
  • Elicit requirements. Apply requirements elicitation and presentation techniques to support the formulation of ideas.
  • Analyse requirements. Analyse, organise and present requirements with up-to-date modelling techniques.
  • Develop requirements specifications. Write clear, consistent, correct and complete Software Requirements Specifications (SRS) to international standards.
  • Evaluate a Software Specification. Evaluate the quality of a software requirements specification using internationally recognised quality criteria.
  • Manage changes to customer requirements. Evaluate, approve/reject and incorporate changes to requirements into the end software product whilst maintaining its integrity.
  • Validate your software product. Format your requirements specification to support validation of the end software product.
  • Procure software. Apply the requirements specification and validation processes to contracted development projects and product acquisitions.


  • Avoid software project failures due to incomplete and incorrect requirements. Concise requirements in place prior to commencing design increase the quality of the end software product and decrease its cost of development.
  • Make sure your system will be used. We teach requirements capture processes that maximise end-user communication and participation thus increasing the probability of user acceptance.
  • Learn practical frameworks and templates. You will be provided with practical requirements capture process frameworks and document templates.
  • Become an advocate for better requirements. On attending this workshop, participants report that they feel more motivated to champion requirements capture process improvement in their organisations.

Who Should Attend

  • Business analysts and end-user representatives tasked with specifying software requirements.
  • Testing professionals tasked with accepting software based systems.
  • Information systems managers seeking to train users in requirements specification.
  • Information systems professionals responsible for documenting end-user requirements.
  • Designers responsible for developing designs from user requirement specifications.
  • Supply chain professionals tasked with procuring software based systems.

Workshop Outline

Unit 1: Requirements Engineering Fundamentals

  • What is a requirement?
  • Types of requirements
  • Non requirements
  • Derived requirements
  • Separating requirements from design.

Unit 2: Justifying Requirements Capture

  • “The Horror” – disasters through bad requirements
  • Five good reasons to get requirements right
  • The role of requirements in project risk management.

Unit 3: The Requirements Capture Process

  • Integrating requirements capture with the overall project development process
  • Eliciting requirements
  • Analysing requirements
  • Specifying requirements
  • Validating requirements
  • Managing requirements.

Unit 4: Eliciting requirements

  • Identifying people and other resources that can be a source of requirements
  • Identifying product vision and project scope
  • Conducting interviews
  • Conducting requirements workshops
  • Requirements workshop elicitation techniques
  • Developing use cases
  • Using prototypes to discover requirements.

Unit 5: Analyzing requirements

  • Analysis Objectives
  • Modelling software requirements
  • Selecting the correct model
  • Requirements patterns
  • Requirements triage - prioritising and scrubbing

Unit 6: Specifying Requirements

  • Formatting a software requirements specification document
  • Five rules of effective writing
  • Describing functions, data and external interfaces
  • Specifying system attributes - reliability, availability, security, maintainability
  • Specifying system performance
  • Recording the rationales behind statements of requirement
  • Quality factors; evaluating a software requirements specification.

Unit 7: Managing Requirements

  • Identifying requirements
  • Filtering and sorting requirements
  • Managing changes to requirements
  • Tracing requirements
  • Storing requirements in a repository.

Background. Les Chambers is a practising professional software engineer with extensive international experience in developing real time and commercial data management systems. In the context of assignments in the U.S.A., Asia, the Middle East and Australia he has performed the sum of all tasks required to construct a software and electronic system; from project manager, safety authority, quality manager, configuration manager to requirements engineer, V&V engineer, design authority, system architect, controls engineer, software developer and hardware designer.

Les is principal of Chambers & Associates Pty Ltd, a Brisbane based systems and software engineering, training and consulting practice he founded in 1988. Les works in Australia and internationally with clients in the industry sectors of railway and road transportation, telecommunications, defence, gaming, government, manufacturing and control systems. His clients have included Commonwealth Government Departments, Telstra, Honeywell, Siemens, Boeing, Royal Australian Air Force, Jupiters Casino Group, Invensys, Ansaldo and Rockwell.

Requirements Specification Experience. In more than thirty years of systems engineering Les has worked at the coal face of systems and software requirements capture and verification. His clients have included Commonwealth Government Departments, Telstra, Rockwell and Honeywell. As a requirements engineer he has developed complex systems specifications in telecommunications, defence and railway transportation. As a verification and validation engineer he has been the requirements review authority on many projects with ultimate responsibility for developing test programs based on systems and software requirements specifications.

As a consultant Les works with organisations to improve the quality of their specifications. As a trainer his extensive knowledge of requirements capture processes together with requirements specification frameworks, models and modes of expression provides workshop participants with a compelling learning experience.

Training Skills. As a trainer Les' international experience in the nuts and bolts of developing reliable software provides a wealth of case studies. His workshops are consistently rated highly for his mastery of the subject and his ability to entertain and motivate the listener.

Education. Les holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Honours Degree from Queensland University and has completed quality management system assessor training with Standards Australia.

Upcoming Workshops

Meet the Workshop Leader

Participant Reaction

Les's in depth knowledge and experience provided an excellent professionally presented course which is difficult to find in many of today's training houses. I would rate this course as probably one of the best I have attended.
David Tein, CAA.

Past Workshop Attendees

This workshop has been tried, tested and continuously improved over many presentations since 1993. Past attendees have come from a variety of industry sectors: defence (RAAF), telecommunications (Telecom Australia), manufacturing (BHP) and government (Health Insurance Commission).

In-house Presentations

If you have a critical mass of people with this training need it may be more cost effective to run this workshop in-house.

Our in-house presentations may be tailored for individual needs. To configure your own workshop see our:

Upcoming Workshops

For more information Email us or call Les Chambers on +61 7 38704199.


Les Chambers