The Documents of the Requirements Analysis

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In our third entry on the Requirements phase of Waterfall development, we will talk about the documents that get created during this initial phase.  Organizing and communicating the analysis content is critical for the whole development team, as it will become the agenda for the whole development.

Spending time getting these documents right goes a long way to avoiding problems down the line. Though the exact terminology used for these deliverables can vary, the content essentially remains the same. The three primary documents from this phase are the business requirements report, the conceptual systems design plan, and the strategy documents (training, testing, implementation, etc).

The business requirements report features both big-picture and more specific feature requirements for the project. In addition, any process or data models are featured here, along with the client’s acceptance criteria.

The conceptual systems design plan is the primary vehicle by which the client evaluates how direction and design will meet the business needs. Included here are various pieces of the design plan; screen layouts, report layouts, interfaces, and architecture diagrams.

The strategy documents lay out the basis for each process used later in development. Common examples of these documents include general strategies for training stakeholders, testing processes and environment, data conversion plans, and the implementation of the product.

Because these documents become the base on which the entire project is built, it is tantamount to a smooth development process that they be done thoroughly and correctly. Though the terms and methodology layout can differ in phrasing, the emphasis on proper requirements analysis remains.