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Tutorial 6: The Recursive Nature of Requirements Development


Target Audience:
Project Managers, Software and Systems Engineers, Quality Assurance Engineers, Testers for all phases of testing, Systems Architects, Process Improvement Specialists, CMMI Specialists

Level: Intermediate

What will you learn :

  • Understand why requirements gathering is just a start compared to the depth that can be achieved through requirements elicitation
  • Understand why early phase “validation” of requirements helps “gain confidence” that the system developed from the customer requirements will indeed work in the operational environment by the people that have to use it
  • Understand the recursive interaction between Requirements Development and Technical Solution in the SEI’s CMMI-DEV v1.2
  •  Understand the concurrency among developing eliciting and analyzing requirements, developing operational concepts and scenarios, developing functional and physical architectures, defining interface descriptions, validating requirements from the early life-cycle phases until end-phase validation, and performing product integration.
  • Understand the importance of the recursive nature of requirements that has been captured in ANSI/EIA 632, EIA/IS 731 – Systems Engineering Capability Model, ISO/IEC 15288 – Life Cycle Management – System Life Cycle Processes, and most recently the CMMI-DEV v1.2, developed by the Software Engineering Institute, made available to the public, August, 2006.

Collecting and understanding requirements is the necessary but not necessarily sufficient start of a successful project. Large projects involving systems and software components are required to collect and analyze requirements using a more incremental or recursive approach. The SEI's CMMI-DEV v1.2 illustrates this point. 

The Analyze and Validate Requirements specific goal addresses the necessary analysis to define, derive, and understand the requirements. This specific goal is intended to assist the specific practices in the first two specific goals. The processes associated with the Requirements Development process area and with the Technical Solution process area may interact recursively with one another." 

Analyses are used to understand, define, and select the requirements at all levels from competing alternatives. Analyses occur recursively at successively more detailed layers of a product's architecture until sufficient detail is available to enable detailed design, acquisition, and testing of the product to proceed.


  • Identifying Stakeholders
  • Eliciting Requirements
  • Documenting “Customer” Requirements
  • Translating “Customer” Requirements into Product and Product Components
  • Identifying Interface Requirements
  • Developing Operational Concepts
  • Developing Operational Scenarios
  • Deriving Requirements
  • Performing Functional Analysis
  • Developing Alternative Designs
  • Discovering Additional Requirements
  • Analyzing and Validating Requirements at all stages
  • Gathering interface requirements, defining interfaces, managing interfaces, and using them for entry criteria for integration

Some knowledge of Requirements Engineering and the CMMI would be helpful

Tim Kasse
,  CEO & Principal Consultant
Kasse Initiatives LLC 

Tim Kasse is the CEO and Principal Consultant of Kasse Initiatives. Mr. Kasse was a major contributor to the development of the CMM, led the evolution of the SEI assessment method and led the development of the SEI's Intermediate CMMI® Workshop. His latest book A Practical Insight Into CMMI was published by Artech House in May 2004. He has participated in over 100 CMM/CMMI Process Assessments in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Tim holds a Master's degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor's degree in Systems Engineering with over 38 years of systems/software related experience.