Requirements: The Must-Haves vs. Nice-to-Haves


Part of Tecnova's requirements specification series -- helping businesses save money, time, and resources.

As our series goes on and we continue to look at what makes quality requirements, we come to the issue of prioritization. 

Often users are reluctant to prioritize requirements because they think developers will only work on the high-priority items and never address the lower-priority ones. Even if they are willing to prioritize, they may each interpret priorities differently, and what might be of high importance to them is not important enough to be in the next release.

And sometimes, developers think that prioritizing requirements will be admitting that they’re unable to implement everything that’s desired all at the same time.

Yet, if every requirement is equal, there is no way to respond to new requirements or make adjustments to changing project parameters like staff, schedule, and goals. Requirements have to be organized and prioritized so that products can get off the ground and out the door.

A requirements specification template can help group requirements as “must haves” or as “nice to haves” that can be implemented at a later time depending on overall cost and risk. Using a requirements specification template, developers can classify high-priority requirements based on whether the products or systems they’re defining will:

  • Have a high frequency or volume of usage
  • Satisfy the most number of users
  • Help implement core business processes
  • Be needed for regulatory compliance

From there, the template can be used to define a naming convention that identifies the functional component it relates to, promotes consistent classification, and common expectations. With this naming methodology, users can allocate each requirement or feature to a specific build or release. Ultimately, they can also prioritize other requirements based on projected value to end users and the anticipated costs and technical risks. This helps developers implement the truly essential functionality in the first release.

All requirements are not created equal.

Tecnova’s Requirements Specification Template is a hands-on tool that can help product managers clearly communicate hardware and systems specifications for each stage of product release. Download the tool now to get the insights needed to meet deadlines and bring new products to market.

 requirements specification template