Project and System Level Requirements Specification (2 day course)

Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 October 2012

9.00am - 5.00pm

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

Free of charge and open to all (BCS and non-BCS members)

Tom Gilb

Applications for places are to be sent directly to Soheir Ghallab

Please specify:

1. Why interested
2. Employment status
3. Which course(s)

This is primarily for people not in permanent employment, or underemployed contractors. Some exceptions can be made for eager candidates.


Professor Peter Morris, in The Management of Projects found that problems with requirements were top of the list of why projects had problems. Projects in NASA found that they could reduce project overruns substantially (30% to 130% overrun to -10% to 20%) by investing 5%-9% of the total project time on requirements as opposed to 0.5% to 4%. Investing enough in good requirements has a clear payoff. But it is not a matter of quantity of time spent - but it matters what that time is spent on doing - quality of requirements effort.

We believe that the most critical requirements are few in quantity, but that it is critical to specify them extremely well, and to get them ‘right’ - and to adjust them as experience dictates - and to adjust them to optimize ability to exploit limited resources. We have developed a unique method for requirement specification called ‘Planguage’ (Planning Language). It is not only strong as a requirements specification language, but also strong because it is intimately coupled to corresponding design, quality control, and project management disciplines.

Course contents:

  • practical examples of Planguage for requirements
  • the various requirements concepts defined deeply and exemplified
  • requirements templates (to make standards practical)
  • design constraint templates (a type of required design or architecture)
  • how to quantify any qualitative requirement (like intuitiveness or adaptability or security) - this is the key ability that most all other ‘requirements’ courses do not teach!
  • advanced scale of measure specification methods (a ‘scale’ is more than units)
  • how to measure a requirement level numerically (meters and tests for quality)
  • standards for requirements (rules, processes, templates, glossary)
  • principles for requirements (help you to tackle new problems better)
  • quality control of requirements: measuring requirement conformance to standards (reviews, inspections, agile reviews)
  • estimating the quantified impact of a design on requirements
  • evolutionary project management and how it integrates with requirements
  • training requirements writers
  • changing requirements culture
  • expected results from requirements culture improvement
  • a policy for improved requirements
  • instructor-led workshop: participant input requirement problems solved by Gilb
  • how to give information that determines priorities of requirements (example Wish/Goal/Fail and Qualifiers)
  • how to include requirement information about risks and uncertainties
  • how to include requirement information about traceability (up and down)

Further information