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March 29, 2009


Very nice list Mike. I just finished creating an RFP for a client for an enterprise system and this list matches what I identified. I think Compatibility is a new one...and I like it (I've usually handled this with interface requirements).

May I suggest you use Planguage to define your SMART requirements? Here's an example for Availability:


For each non-functional requirement, define:

Scale: "What is measured"
Meter: "How to measure (method)"
Target: "Level we're aiming for. Success"
Constraint: "Level we're seeking to avoid. Failure"
Benchmark: "Where we are today"

This can even be applied to business objectives, see my article here for how to define "Increase Market Share" using these same concepts:


Hi Ryan,

Thanks for the feedback and pointer to Planguage, this was new to me and looks very useful.

Best regards

Nice list of nonfunctional attributes and associated metrics. I would look for different security attributes and metrics, as the ones you've listed assume particular designs. A pure requirement would not reference passwords and time-outs, as they are common but not necessary solutions to security problems (see http://cauvin.blogspot.com/2007/05/requirements-and-functional.html ).

Hi Roger,

Good point, these requiremsnts make an assumption about the implementation. Please help me improve the list then; what 2 lines should better replace what I have?


So this is all your are going to test for? Or, are you aiming at just a list of broad test categories?

Hi David,

No this is not all I am going to test for. The list is entitled "Minimal Checklist" to help outline a few broad categories, the extent and detail will be driven by your project and organizational domain. My current business project has a 8-10 pages of non-functional requirements and the same for testing, the last military project I worked on had >300 pages on performance characteristics alone. It varies a great deal from project to project, my intent with the checklist was a one page reminder of areas to think about. I hope this helps clarify.

Best regards

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