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Many of us capture the requirements description in a Software Requirements Specification document. However, the use of a word-processor often results in requirements turning into multiple paragraphs with sub-numbering and sub-sub-numbering. Such requirements are hard to test and accept, and verbose text leads to interpretation issues.

A spreadsheet helps you to write less

A spreadsheet, on the other hand, typically leads people to write less and keep the requirements statements relatively “atomic”. Thereby it is much easier to build the acceptance tests. In addition, it is easier to record all sorts of associated attributes for each requirement, whereas in MS-word this is harder. Of course you could use MS-Word tables, but those are never as easy to handle as Excel.

Unlike in MS-Word, it’s easy to have attributes and calculated values

A spreadsheet makes it possible to have more than just one or two attributes. In a spreadsheet it is possible to capture the name of the person changing the requirement and also to capture a date and time stamp for the changes. In addition, in a spreadsheet it is easy to maintain a version for the requirements and to calculate the stability. The latter is important: requirements which change often are a liability – if the project owner can’t decide on functionality perhaps it is better to park it till later.

Not everyone has MS-Access

Last but not least, the ReqDb is a spreadsheet and not a MS-Access database since everyone will have Excel as part of the standard MS-Office suite. Thus in Excel it is easy for you to take the next step-up in your requirements management work.


Further information

       To download ReqDb’s latest version go to the Downloads page.

       The ReqDb does not provide linking or traceability of requirements to specifications, tests and code, completeness checking, etc. If you need linking, sets, traceability, and more, please look at ScopeTracker.

       To learn more on how to write good requirements, please get the free Requirements standard and browse the Requirements management Tips & Traps pages.


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Site Software v2.2.0, 26 Oct 2016