Requirements Engineering: Critical top-level quantified value-requirements analysis-and-specification, using Planguage

Monday 29 - Tuesday 30 September 2014 (2 day course)

8.45am for 9.00am - Finishing around 4.00pm
No lunch will be provided

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

BCS Members: Free of charge
Non-Members: £40.00 (including VAT @ 20%)

If you book, and are unable to attend, please cancel your booking via the BCS site and also contact Soheir Ghallab, who is our committee member looking after Tom’s courses. There is normally a waiting list for Tom’s courses,

Tom Gilb Hon FBCS and Kai Gilb


Requirements Engineering: Defining Success Requirements

  • Critical top-level quantified value-requirements analysis-and-specification, using Planguage            

Duration: 2 days


You will acquire the skill to write Project Critical Requirements with a focus on expressing the real need and values of the Critical Project Stakeholders. You will know how to identify, separate and specify: Stakeholder Values, Product Values (Qualities), Functions, and required Solutions (Solution Constraints).

This skill set will add tremendous value to any project, and to any conventional project style. It is a skill set sorely lacking in traditional project management methods, as well as lacking in the new Agile development methods (Lean, Scrum, XP etc.). It is a necessary supplement.

Workshop mode: You will be in a team of about 4 people who will pick a project and work out and specify the requirements for that project in a customized Google doc tool.

There will be some lectures and lots of practical work on your teams project. At the end of the day, your team will present your team’s work.


Qualifies for: Value Requirement Certification


Day 1 The Basics

  • Analysis: what is it we are dealing with; reading, saying
    • Definitions: deciding what things are
    • Implication: deciding what is implied, but not explicitly present
    • Organization: organizing the set of information into a related set of requirements information.
  • Synthesis: What should we do about it; how to organize the requirement information
    • Requirements need to be explicitly related to their level of concern (like stakeholder)
    • Requirements need to be explicitly related to higher level requirements that they support or impact.
    • Requirements need to be related to both requirements and designs that support or impact them
  • Quality: how to raise requirement specifications to a suitable standard of quality
    • Rules for Technical Specification
    • Template <with Hints>: helps follow Rules
    • Sorting Boxes (core stuff)
    • Quantifying Quality Requirements
    • Specification Stages
    • Exercises
    • Real Case Solutions
    • Tactics for raising quality of a top level requirement spec
    • Exercises
  • Review: how to measure conformance to our requirements standards
    • Spec QC: Specification Quality Control. A Quantified Method
    • Exercise
  • Acceptance: how to decide, measurably, that the requirements are good enough to distribute
    • Standards: Generic Guidance in Smart Decisions
    • Numeric Entry Exit to Processes
    • QA Policy: IT Specification Service Level Agreements
    • Expected Outcomes: of the Policy
    • Entry Criteria : 15 Practical Examples
    • Exit Criteria examples
    • Intel Case Study: very high requirements quality = 3X Productivity.
    • Discussion Questions

Day 2 Advanced Applications

  • Instructor Led Workshop: Demonstration based on participant submitted requirements.
    • How does an advanced expert work in practice
  • Advanced Planguage specification tools: Background Parameters
    • Relationships
    • Priority
    • Risks, Issues, Dependencies, Assumptions
  • Generic Quality Templates: how to quantify the ilities
  • Estimation: Dynamic Agile Resource Management for Time and money
    • The Confirmit Case
    • The Cleanroom Case
  • Project Management for Top Level Requirements: The Evo Method
    • One week Project Startup
    • The US DoD Persinscom Case,
    • The Evo Project Management Cycle
    • Bank Cases (Citigroup, Smith)
  • Value Decision-making: The Impact Estimation Table short fundamentals. Exploiting the quantified top level requirements for architecture and design.
    • AS Time Permits: Options, chosen as time permits or on extra time.
    • Risk Management with Quantified top level project objectives
    • Quantifying Software Organization Productivity (Ericsson Case)
    • Quantifying and managing Technical Debt.
    • Maintainability
    • The Green Week for sustained Refactoring Engineering (Confirmit)

About Speakers: Tom Gilb and Kai Gilb

Tom Gilb and Kai Gilb have, together with many professional friends and clients, personally developed the Agile methods they teach. The methods have been developed over five decades of practice all over the world in both small companies and projects, as well as in the largest companies and projects. Their website offers free papers, slides, and cases about Agile and other subjects.

There are many organisations, and individuals, who use some or all of their methods. IBM and HP were two early corporate-wide adopters (1980, 1988). Recently (2012) over 15,000 engineers at Intel have voluntarily adopted the Planguage requirements specification methods; in addition to practicing to a lesser extent Evo, Spec QC and other Gilb methods. Many other multinationals are in various phases of adopting and practicing the Gilb methods. Many smaller companies also use the methods. They have advised top management at UK Companies on Business Agile in 2013 and earlier.

Tom Gilb

Tom is the author of nine published books, and hundreds of papers on Agile and related subjects. His latest book ‘Competitive Engineering’ (CE) is a detailed handbook on the standards for the 'Evo' (Evolutionary) Agile Method, and also for Agile Spec QC.  The CE book also, uniquely in the Agile community, defines an Agile Planning Language, called 'Planguage' for Quality Value Delivery Management. His 1988 book, Principles of Software Engineering Management (now in 20th Printing) is the publicly acknowledged source of inspiration from leaders in the Agile community (Beck, Highsmith, and many more), regarding iterative and incremental development methods. Research (Larman, Southampton University) has determined that Tom was the earliest published source campaigning for Agile methods (Evo) for IT and Software. His first 20-sprint agile (Evo) incremental value delivery project was done in 1960, in Oslo.

Tom has guest lectured at universities all over UK, Europe, China, India, USA, Korea - and has been a keynote speaker at dozens of technical conferences internationally. He did his first TEDx talk in Trondheim in 2013.

Tom is an Honorary Fellow of the BCS.

Kai Gilb

Kai Gilb has partnered with Tom in developing these ideas, holding courses and practicing them with clients since 1992. He coaches managers and product owners, writes papers, develops the courses, and is writing his own book, ‘Evo – Evolutionary Project Management & Product Development.’

Tom & Kai work well as a team, they approach the art of teaching their common methods somewhat differently. Consequently the students benefit from two different styles.