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Task Descriptions as Functional Requirements
March/April 2003 (vol. 20 no. 2)
pp. 58-65
Soren Lauesen, IT-University of Copenhagen

Many IT systems fail to satisfy business goals or support users efficiently, even when the system meets written requirements. Why? Usually because the requirements rather arbitrarily specify what a system shall do, and barely consider its context. Stakeholders cannot check that such requirements meet expectations. To remedy this situation, the Tasks & Support approach uses task descriptions that specify what the user and computer shall accomplish together without being explicit about who performs which parts of a task. The requirement is simply to support the identified tasks. Stakeholders can easily validate and later verify such requirements. This approach is just as successful for product development and large-scale work restructuring as it is for buying commercial off-the-shelf products. Although the resulting requirements are of higher quality than traditional requirements, they are much faster to produce.

Index Terms:
requirements, task descriptions, use cases, COTS, validation, business goals, tender process
Soren Lauesen, "Task Descriptions as Functional Requirements," IEEE Software, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 58-65, March-April 2003, doi:10.1109/MS.2003.1184169
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