I am software engineer in big business company, currently filling a management role.

Current Solution:
Communication and socializing among the people in the company to let them know the we are in the same boat. Don't be afraid that first version is wrong. Developers are willing to change and re-work. But management level might not happy with re-work which is stressful situation for requirement giver

How to encourage people to give detail requirements?

I have read communication related QA in the SE workplace, but non of them are related to mine

  • 1
    If I understand you correctly, you want to know how to improve communication between product-design department/management and the developers in order to get a more detailed description of the requirements/features and therefore avoid rewriting/correcting your product/code, correct?
    – iLuvLogix
    Oct 24 '19 at 11:49
  • why is this your role? Are you a manager?
    – Kilisi
    Oct 24 '19 at 11:50
  • Who are providing the requirements? Business Analysts or the business users themselves?
    – user44108
    Oct 24 '19 at 11:53
  • @Kilisi Yes, I am
    – Sam
    Oct 24 '19 at 11:58
  • Keep in mind that arbitrary requirements aren't very useful either. Setting good requirements almost inevitably requires some back and forth discussion. Otherwise simply "requiring a requirement" means you have product owners asking for this which may be difficult or expensive to achieve, but that may not be specifically needed, and perhaps ignoring a workable alternative that would be far simpler to achieve. Oct 24 '19 at 14:39

You can create templates for documents or a flowchart detailing how to create good specifications. Guides with questions that are often brought up (access level, data throughput requirements, does it need to work on mobile, etc) are useful. In short, anything that can make the "request a feature" experience more like a step-by-step guide is good.

One unorthodox trick that worked well with me on a previous job was to be extremely harsh on all submissions that came without all the required fields filled in. Obviously, this was a one-off situation and I do not recommend you do this unless you have confidence that this type of reinforcement will help your company. After 6 months on this, we started seeing an increase in quality and completeness of our requests, so I dropped the act.

Another good solution is to find good Business Analysts to work with you. Mediocre BAs will not help your company pay more attention to requirements. You need people that can learn enough about the business and the software behind it to cut time wasted in discussion in half and to ask the questions you want to ask before you see it.

  • yep, analyse what you will need and make sure they give you all the information you need in writing.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 24 '19 at 11:59

If you're the manager then you have the ability to bridge the gap between your two teams. This means either you or someone you give the role needs to be able to effectively pull the requirements from the design team.

I am in a similar situation as you and I found you have to almost interrogate those responsible for communicating this information. I don't mean in a rough or harsh way, but you have to have someone with the skills put into the position to act as a translation layer between the two. Someone which can understand the development needs but be able to understand the design side as well. Non-developers often do not know everything that needs to be communicated, and sometimes they do not actually know X is an actual requirement to be specified as it something which is intuitively in their mind and not something they feel anyone would deviate from. Sometimes assumptions they make need to be brought to light by asking specific pointed questions.

In summary, for the best results you need someone to fill this intermediate role. This also allows you a single point of improvement. If specifications/requirements are lacking, you simply need to train the single individual to request that information next time. Overall this will result in a clear improvement in communication between the two sides.

  • 2
    Many programmers see requirements as just their input, but developing requirements can be at least as hard as the programming. It needs someone with a foot in both camps, and can take a few iterations to get right. Oct 24 '19 at 14:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .