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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
Writing Better Requirements
Author:
Ian F. Alexander and Richard Stevens
ISBN:
0-321-13163-0
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Pages:
158pp
Price:
£19-95
Reviewer:
Roger N Lever
Subject:
management
Appeared in:
15-3
Requirements are a fundamental part of any project, however, that does not mean that this is a subject that has been so well documented that there is nothing left to learn. In fact many might suggest that writing requirements is not understood at all based on some so-called requirements documentation. That is where this book aims to help - writing better requirements.

Although it is not a large book (~150 pages) it does cover the subject in sufficient detail that you will undoubtedly learn something even if you think you know a bit about it to start with. The book itself is structured around capturing, organising, writing and reviewing requirements. Each topic is addressed in an engaging, clear and concise style and each chapter includes exercises to help reinforce the material. These questions have some suggested answers at the back of the book and this is a useful way of realising how little critical thinking is applied to even some apparently simple statements.

There is a lot of good commentary in this book and unless you have spent a great deal of time learning the ropes and improving continuously you will learn something new. This learning will be reinforced by the many examples of both the right way and the wrong way to produce requirements. For those people who are interested in this area it is a very useful book to have to hand. Before I started reading this book I thought I knew something about writing requirements - I definitely know more now.