Daily Archives: August 4, 2009

How do your requirements smell?

While delivering the Business Systems Analysis course today one of the participants (Paul Wolf) asked about the FRUEMP acronym (ISO standard 9126: Functionality, Reliability, Usability, Efficency, Maintainability, Portability) for requirements types – he suggested PERFUMe instead, which brings to mind the smell of a system.

It has been my experience on many projects that the NFR’s (Non-Functional-Requirements) are frequently poorly defined – if they are defined at all; getting them wrong or leaving them out is a predictor of project problems.  

Irrespective of the lifecycle model being used on a project we need to understand the quality drivers from a business perspective – where does the “good enough” bar sit for this product, and what are important quality characteristics that actually matter to the customers and how will we know they have been met.

In the Agile space we refer to “smells” as visible indicators of underlying problems.  Perhaps we should consider the lack of a plesant PERFUMe (well understood non-functional requirements) as a really bad smell on any project.

What do you think?

Posted by Shane Hastie


Posted by on August 4, 2009 in Quality