Software Requirements Essentials
Core Practices for Successful Business Analysis

Karl Wiegers and Candase Hokanson
Addison-Wesley, 2023
Software Requirements Essentials

Busy business analysts, product managers, and product owners might not have the time to read a thick book on software requirements. But they'll have time to read Software Requirements Essentials.

This concise and highly readable book describes 20 requirements practices that every software team should perform. These core practices help project and product teams understand the business problem, engage the right participants, articulate effective solutions, communicate information among stakeholders, implement the right functionality in the right sequence, and adapt to change. Suggested Next Steps help you begin putting each practice into action immediately.

Karl Wiegers and Candase Hokanson bring a wealth of insight about how to elicit, analyze, specify, validate, and manage requirements on both traditional and agile projects. Software Requirements Essentials distills the vast body of requirements and business analysis knowledge into a focused, practical book that can enhance any team member's effectiveness. Think of it as the TL;DR or CliffsNotes version of all those big, intimidating books on requirements.


Reading Sample     Videos     The 20 Practices     Downloads     Reviews     Contact

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Overview video of Software Requirements Essentials (4 minutes)
"Essential Requirements Practices" (60 minutes)
The One-Minute Analyst video series
Other requirements-related videos by Karl Wiegers (35 short ones, 7 long ones)


Checklist of Questions for Eliciting Business Requirements
Checklist of Questions for Defining Solution Boundaries
Checklist of Questions for Identifying Stakeholders
Checklist of Questions for Characterizing Stakeholders
Checklist of Questions for Identifying Data Requirements
Requirements Analysis Checklist
Requirements Review Checklist

Prioritization Criteria Matrix
Quality Attributes Prioritization
Relative Weighting Requirements Prioritization

Project Charter Template
Software Requirements Specification Template
Stakeholder Profiles Template
Use Case Template
Vision and Scope Template

Business Objectives Model
Zip file with all items

What the Reviewers Say

"As research for a book, I once read the ten best-selling requirements engineering books of the prior ten years. This one book succinctly presents more useful information than those ten books combined. I wish I'd had it as a reference then."
Mike Cohn, Author of User Stories Applied and co-founder of the Scrum Alliance

"Long story short: if you are going to read only one requirements book, this is it. Software Requirements Essentials distills the wealth of information found in Software Requirements and many other texts down to twenty of the most important requirements activities that apply on nearly all projects. Today's busy BA simply doesn't have the time to read a lengthy instructive guide front-to-back. But they should find the time to read this book."
Joy Beatty, COO, ArgonDigital

"What a valuable resource for new and experienced business analysts alike, who want an accessible, clearly written, and well organized introduction to key business analyst practices. Karl and Candase do a great job of breaking down a complex role into a straightforward set of practices that can be integrated into your business analysis process to make it more effective."
Laura Brandenburg, Author of How to Start a Business Analyst Career

"Software Requirements Essentials will be a high-value addition to your business analysis library. Anyone looking to improve their business analysis practices will find great practical advice they'll be able to apply immediately."
Laura Paton, Principal Consultant, BA Academy, Inc.

"Diamonds come about when a huge amount of carbon atoms are compressed. Karl and Candase have done something very similar: they have compressed their vast requirements knowledge into 20 gems they call 'core practices.' These practices are potent stuff, and I recommend that they become part of everyone's requirements arsenal."
James Robertson, Author of Mastering the Requirements Process and Business Analysis Agility

"Here is a book that all business analysts should have on their shelves, a readable reference that pulls together all the best practices we've been applying in business analysis for fifty years or so. Karl and Candase have made the book 'agile' with lots of practices applicable both to the traditional BA approach and to the BA who's defining user stories for the agile software developers. Software Requirements Essentials encapsulates all of the excellent advice and counsel Karl has given us over the years into this one touchstone of a book. I wish that I had written it."
Steve Blais, Author of Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success and co-author of Business Analysis for Practitioners

"One of the many aspects of Karl Wiegers's latest book that we love is the universality of the requirements techniques he describes. Using real-life examples and easy-to-understand illustrations, Wiegers and Candase Hokanson describe practices that can be applied regardless of the project at hand or the methodology followed. This is a must-read for every business analyst who wants to avoid the pitfall of achieving 'project success but product failure.'"
Elizabeth Larson and Richard Larson, Past co-owners of Watermark Learning and authors of CBAP Certification Study Guide

"Software Requirements Essentials offers an excellent introduction to the requirements engineering framework, and the techniques it encompasses, in an accessible and engaging way. The book offers invaluable guidance and insights via twenty best practices that are highly relevant, if not essential, for anyone working to define requirements."
Dr. Debra Paul, Managing Director, Assist Knowledge Development