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Rice Consulting Services specializes in software testing training and software testing consulting. We equip you to test your systems better and faster so you can focus on your business instead of technology problems.

With over 30 years experience in building and testing IT systems, we can bring the expertise you need to be successful in meeting your business goals and increasing profits.

 
needs wantsOne of the great needs of software system users, testers, developers and project managers is the need for good user requirements.

As a profession, we have been building information systems for over 40 years, yet still struggle with how to best define user needs.

This page is a guide to point you to further information on this site about user requirements and use cases. 

User Requirements

The goal of user requirements is to define the users' needs, not to design the user interface or other implementation or project details. The requirements should define "what" is needed, not "how" to deliver the solution.

Here is an article you might find helpful in defining requirements:

Solving the Right Problem - Step One in Software Development

If you would like a course that takes you from A to Z in defining user requirements, check out my course - Gathering, Documenting and Testing User Requirements.  I can bring this course to your company and train your team, or you can take this course online at your convenience. Team licenses are available at discounted rates.

The primary standard for User Requirements is IEEE Standards 830-1998 - Recommended Practice for Software Requirements Specifications. I have a one-day course on how to understand and apply IEEE 830-1998. Currently, it is only available in live classroom format.

Use Cases

Use cases are a helpful way to provide the process context that is often missing in traditional user requirements. Use cases and requirments work together well. However, use cases lack things contained in user requirments. If you extend use cases to be more like requirements, then you lose the simplicity and original intent of use cases. To learn more about the distinctions, read the article Are Use Cases a Substitute for Requirements?

If you would like a course that takes you from a basic understanding to an intermediate level in defining and testing use cases, check out my course - Use Cases from Concept to Test Cases.  I can bring this course to your company and train your team, or you can take this course online at your convenience. Team licenses are available at discounted rates.

What if You Can't Get Good Requirements for Software Testing?

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, user requirements can still be elusive things to achieve. As important as requirements are, the good news is that there are other basis of testing. To learn about some of these other ways to base testing, read the article "Testing Without Defined Requirements."

More Help?


If you would like me to work directly with you and your teams, contact me. I'll be happy to learn more about your needs and propose my solutions to make good user requirements and use cases a reality in your organization.

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