International Software Process Association (ISPA)

SP'96 - Tutorials

Title: Making requirements measurable
Tutor: James Robertson (Atlantic Systems Guild)

Who should attend

The tutorial is aimed at people who are interested in acquiring practical requirements engineering skills. It is run as a participative workshop. Attendees must have a genuine interest in practical solutions to requirements specification. It is particularly useful for practitioners involved in doing requirements engineering.


Requirements traceability and quality assessment depend on requirements measurability. This workshop/tutorial explores the idea that a requirement is measurable, provided there is an unambiguous way of determining whether a given solution fits that requirement. Participants examine requirements measurability by building a requirements specification for a familiar system. A requirements template will be used as a guide for the workshop. The workshop finishes with a discussion of how measurable requirements can be used to build a requirements quality filter.


Introduction: the concept of a requirement as a potential misfit; review of the requirements template; guidelines for making requirements measurable; explanation of the case study.

Building the specification: each team will be assigned responsibility for specifying some of the requirements; teams identify requirements and suggest measurements for each requirement.

Reviewing the specification: teams present measurable requirements for discussion; discussion of the concept of using a domain-specific requirements filter for requirements quality assurance; the teams requirements will be amalgamated, and a composite specification will be made available to workshop participants.

Benefits for those attending

Insight into requirements and their measurability through practical teamwork.

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