User requirements document
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The user requirement(s) document (URD) or user requirement(s) specification is a document usually used in software engineering that specifies the requirements the user expects from software to be constructed in a software project.
An important and difficult step of designing a software product is determining what the customer actually wants it to do. This is because often the customer is not able to communicate the entirety of their needs and wants, and the information they provide may also be incomplete, inaccurate and self-conflicting. The responsibility of completely understanding what the customer wants then falls on the providers of the product. For a project's success it's critical that the user requirements be documented as specifically and unambiguously as possible. Once the required information is completely gathered it is documented in a URD, which is meant to spell out exactly what the software must do and becomes part of the contractual agreement. A customer cannot demand features not in the URD without renegotiating and a developer cannot claim the product is ready if it does not meet an item of the URD.
The URD can be used as a guide to planning cost, timetables, milestones, testing, etc. The explicit nature of the URD allows customers to show it to various stakeholders to make sure all necessary features are described.
Formulating a URD requires negotiation to determine what is technically and economically feasible. Preparing a URD is one of those skills that lies between a science and an art, requiring both software technical skills and interpersonal skills.
Often a URD includes priority ranking for each requirement. A typical system might be as follows:
- M Mandatory requirement. This feature must be built into the final system.
- D Desirable requirement. This feature should be built into the final system unless the cost is too high.
- O Optional requirement.
- E Possible future enhancement.
- Product requirements document
- Marketing Requirements Document
- Requirements management
- Use case, Use case survey
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