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Global Engineering Project Management
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The Strategic Project Leader
Practical Guide to Project Planning
The Complete Project Management Office Handbook, Second Edition
Applied Software Risk Management

Categorizing Project Requirements

Hans Jonasson

Gathering and documenting requirements can be difficult. Knowing how to create a structure that enhances comprehension and makes it easier to divide and conquer the analysis phase can be useful and is actually critical for success on large and complex undertakings. There are many approaches to categorizing requirements and this chapter from Determining Project Requirements explores some of the more common ones. It reviews the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) approach to classification and other, equally good approaches. It is not the intent in this chapter to promote one specific classification system; my view is that different projects and different business situations need different classification approaches, and I also explain the reasoning for this.


  • Identify the need for categorizing requirements.
  • Determine what level of detail a requirements gathering effort should go to.
  • Review different categorization schemes.
  • Review situations where each scheme of categorization may work.
  • Determine roles and responsibilities involved with different categories.

Sometimes starting to capture and document requirements seems like a daunting task. It is hard to know where to begin, what level of detail to get into, and it is almost impossible to know when a complete set of requirements has been captured. A well-defined classification system, or taxonomy, can help with these issues. It is similar to going to an automotive dealer to buy a car. It helps to organize the discussion into categories. For buying a car those categories may be interior, exterior, and performance related. For a system it will be different categories, but the purpose is the same: to enhance communication.

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About the Author

Determining Project Requirements
From Determining Project Requirements by Hans Jonasson. Auerbach Publications, 2008.

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