Non-Functional Requirements Analysis and Capability Gaps Assessment
6. Non-Functional Requirements Analysis
Requirements gathering consider the “what” and the “how”. The “what” is related to the Functional requirements – pertinent to what the system must do; the “how” is related to the Non-Functional requirements – pertinent to “the how” and the environment in which the system will function.
Non-Functional requirements are often underestimated, leading to many complications that cause project delays and impacts the business value delivered by the entire solution. Proper analysis on these non-functional requirements should be performed to uncover the expected qualities and behavior of the system.
Some categories based on ISO 9126 are:
6.1 Paramount considerations
When analyzing and documenting this type of requirements, the following considerations are relevant:
Measurement: A measure of success must be included for each one in order to make it testable.
Documentation: They are often documented in declarative text as part of a list or a matrix. This document should be presented along with the functional requirements since both should be considered to produce the deliverables needed for the successful solution.
Example of a well written non-functional requirement:
6.2 Tools and Techniques
The following tools and techniques might be useful when analyzing non-functional requirements:
Standards and References. Proper knowledge of the current standards and other references for performing the Non-functional requirements analysis is desirable. An investigation should be done prior the analysis in order to learn the best practices and gather useful document tools – matrices, questionnaires, checklists, etc.
Checklist. Preparing a checklist of the typical non-functional requirements is helpful to guide the requirements gathering session and avoid leaving it to the good will of the analyst, business users and stakeholders – a good memory and random thoughts are not enough.
SMART test. This short test – also used for assessing objectives, should be performed to the documented non-functional requirements in order to asses if they accomplish the five characteristics of a good requirement:
7. Capability Gaps Assessment
Assessing the current capabilities (structure, people, processes, and technology) and identifying gaps that prevent the enterprise from meeting business needs and achieving desired outcomes is another many times forgotten aspect of the Business Analysis and the design of the proposed solution.
If the organization can meet the business need with existing capabilities, the resulting change is likely to be relatively small.
7.1 Assessment Activities
Basically, there are two logic activities that should be performed as part of this assessment:
Current Capability Analysis. Analysis of the capabilities currently available on the organization – see table below.
Assessment of New Capability Requirements. Analysis of the new capabilities that are not currently available and that need to be present in order to help the fulfillment of the organization’s goals.
By “capabilities”, the following elements should be considered:
7.2 Interface Analysis
As part of the Capability Gaps Assessment, an interface analysis should be performed to identify required interfaces between solutions or solution components. An early identification of these elements brings an early high level view of the expected interoperability of the solution.
It allows planning the impact on the delivery date.
It enables collaboration with other systems/projects for a common goal.
It facilitates integration of multiple components.
The main benefits of this activity are:
7.3 Highlights for each team player: