Book Review: An Integrated Requirements Process by Peter Brooks

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-tablet-pc-computer-book-image23624210Summary: Compelling recommendations for instituting an integrated requirement management process in any enterprise

After managing IT projects and practicing IT service management for a number of years, the idea of having an integrated requirement process (IRP) for an enterprise intrigues me. I am certified in ITIL and have studied IIBA’s BABOK and ISACA’ COBIT frameworks. I was particularly interested in reading Peter’s recommendations for managing enterprise requirements.

The author proposed IRP based on the premises that:

  • Requirements are corporate assets and should be methodically captured, tracked, managed, and re-used for the benefit of the enterprise.
  • Many frameworks describe the needs of capturing and managing requirements but do not go into more details on how requirements should be properly captured and managed
  • An unified view of the requirement is necessary and can be leveraged by other IT frameworks and activities

Why would you want to read this book and examine the proposed process? I think the book is relevant if you are looking for:

  • A starting point into a more organized and formalized requirement management process for your organization
  • Ways to capture requirements from discrete projects into a centralized enterprise repository and to leverage their re-use
  • Recommendations for integrating requirement management more seamlessly with other IT activities/lifecycles such as application development, business analysis (BABOK), ITSM (ITIL), and IT governance/audit (COBIT).

How would this book help you? After reading the book, I think you will be able to:

  • Define or design a requirement management process for your organization. For example process flow, roles and responsibilities, recommended CSFs and KPIs
  • Define or design categories and statuses to enable a requirement managing workflow for logging, tracking, and re-use of the requirements
  • Define or design the necessary measurements for evaluating the IRP’s effectiveness
  • Understand or identify the necessary controls for governing and sustaining IRP
  • Understand or identify the integration points between IRP, BABOK, ITIL, and COBIT
  • Understand or identify supporting tool requirements

In summary, Peter has provided some compelling reasons and recommendations for instituting an integrated requirement management process in any enterprise. The book has defined all the necessary elements for designing, implementing, and governing the IRP. Peter also has taken a great deal of care by adding plenty of worked examples to help explain the process. I believe his recommendations provide an excellent starting point for those who are ready to manage requirements as corporate assets, rather than just one-time project occurrences.

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