Traditional Requirements vs. Agile Requirements

Learn about the process of getting traditional requirements vs. agile requirements.

Projects are undertaken to realize customer’s requirements. These are elaborated upon in work items such as user stories, smart use cases, or features. These work items form the project’s backlog.

Just as in traditional projects, Agile requirements go through a number of stages in which different activities are carried out. In both types of projects, thought is given to the analysis, design, development, testing, and acceptance of the requirements. The greatest difference between traditional and Agile approaches is, therefore, not how the requirements are elaborated upon, but when they are elaborated upon.

We’ll compare the effectiveness of both approaches on the basis of a simple calculation.

Requirements in a traditional project

A traditional project starts with the elaboration of the requirements until they are complete and thorough. Complete means that all requirements are elaborated. Thorough means that all required details have been described. Traditionally, this is done to create a sense of security because the requirements are the basis for estimating the project’s expected costs and duration. This elaborated set of requirements results in the project plan.

In a traditional method such as this, a lot of time is devoted very early in the project to the elaboration of the requirements. Now suppose that, in a given project, there are 100 requirements, and each requires 20 hours for elaboration. In total, the team burns 2,000 hours to elaborate the requirements.

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