The BABOK® Requirements Taxonomy

The BABOK® defines a specific taxonomy, or classification scheme, for project requirements.   The levels of requirements in the BABOK® need to be mapped to your existing requirements taxonomy and any associated requirements documents.  To start off, remember that  the standard defines a requirement as a condition or capability needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or to achieve an objective.    According to the standard, business requirements are the highest level of requirements and are developed during Enterprise Analysis activities.  They define the high-level goals, objectives and needs of the organization.  Business requirements are progressively elaborated into the next level of detail, the stakeholder requirements.  

Stakeholder requirements define the needs of stakeholders and how they will interact with a solution.  Stakeholder requirements bridge between the high-level business requirements and the more detailed solution requirements.  Solution requirements are the most detailed type of requirements found in the standard.  They describe the solution characteristics that will be needed to meet the higher-level business and stakeholder requirements.  Typically, solution requirements are subdivided into three types: functional, non-functional and transition requirements.  

Functional requirements define the capabilities that a product must provide to its users while non-functional requirements describe quality attributes, design and implementation constraints and external interfaces that the product must have.  Transition requirements define the solution capabilities required to transition from the current to the future state and are no longer needed once the transition is complete. The graphical relationship between these BABOK® requirements classes is shown in the following diagram:

Be sure to map these requirements classes to your own classification scheme and document set in order to maximize the power of using the standard!

Susan Weese

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