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Requirements Free as Text

The last Methods & Tools poll wanted to determine the format used by organizations to format requirements. We asked the following question: "Which format is used to express requirements in your organization?"

Free text 36%
User Stories 23%
UML Use Cases 20%
Other format 7%
Requirements are not formalized 14%

Participants: 325

Ending date: April 2011

The first result that appears from this survey is that 86% of the participants have some mechanism to document their requirements, even if it is only in the form of free text. The first position of free text is not a surprise. Previous surveys on the same topic reported that around 80% of their participants were using basic office software like word processor, spreadsheets and mails to gather and track requirements.

The adoption of Agile practices is visible as the user stories format is used by 23% of participants, more than the UML use cases technique, even if this format can also be used within an Agile approach. These two results confirm the numbers produced by the State of Requirements survey where around 22% of participants were using either requirement modeling software or whiteboard, sticky notes and task cards. In both this survey and the Borland survey, around 30% of participants were using requirement management software.


State of Requirements Management 2011 (PDF)

New Survey Reveals Chasm Between Perception and Reality When It Comes Software Requirements Management (2006)

Requirements Engineering and Software Project Success: an industrial survey in Australia and the U.S (2005)


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