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On Programmers.SE, there was a question a few days ago, asking wether there's an update to the IEEE 830-1998, which is a recommended best practice (not a standard!) for organization of a Software Requirements Specification (SRS) document. You can read my answer on the state of specifications in IT from developers' viewpoint there if you wish.

In my personal experience, in some companies, the SRS is the UX specification, made by UX people. In other companies, UX only deals with actual usabilitiy issues - moslty layout, semiotics (science of icons), copywriting, user testing - and specifications are written by people called business analysts.

Which brings me to the question:

Are there any well-known, possibly international UX / IA / ID organizations, which issued guidelines on requirements specification? What are these guidelines?

On how 830-1998 looks like, look at the text of the guideline itself, or look at a template based on 830-1998.

I don't ask for book recommendations (that would make this question closed at once), and solely in order to help this quesiton not to be closed, I'd like to disclose the following organizations from being "well known":

  • companies under 100 UX/IA/ID projects, and without at least one project at a regional leader in any market or Fortune 500 company

    (so, if a small UX shop tells us how they work, it might be amazing, but it's not a standards organization. Frog Design plays, freelancers don't.)
  • universities, where egonomics/IA/whatever departments have less than 200 full-time students per year, and/or 50 full-time employees researching / teaching UX

    (local universities might have an amazing knowledge, but they have no real impact on design. MIT plays, University of Debrecen doesn't.)
  • magazines having less than 4000 subscribers internationally, or websites having less than 100 000 unique visitor per month

    (If UXMag issued a "Requirements Gathering: The UXMag way", it plays, a blog of a freelancer - however ingenious it might be - doesn't; also, recommending article on UXMag about one's process doesn't count)
  • Standard committes with less than 100 subscribing people

    (the minimal requirement for a standards committee is 10 people, but these are used mostly only for ads)

It's not just standard organizations because Rational wasn't a standard organization, but a well-known player in software modeling field, when the UML use case specification scheme was born. Jacobson also worked for Ericsson, when he wrote one of the first books on "user-centered design". Universities aren't excluded, as Dijsktra wrote his book on the need for design in programming while working for the University of Eindhoven, quite a famous university of that time.

So, are there any such documents? Do they have any relevance?

Sorry for the over-specification.

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make this comment an answer pls, looks fine –  Aadaam Aug 6 '12 at 0:08
    
Comment deleted. Posted as answer. –  gef05 Aug 6 '12 at 0:42

3 Answers 3

In Germany IREB-Standard (Int Req Eng Board) is widely accepted in gathering requirements. As you are asking for reputation - Thomas Geis who is, as far as I can say, member in every important board ISO, DIN, IEC and author of some ISO standards, teaches IREB standard for requirement gathering.

I can't provide you details, simply because I don't know them. But you get actually a good idea if you read chapters of the training. There are standard, advanced (german only) and expert level (no pdf). Its a little more detailed, than your example.

Chapter snippet

System and System Context (Determing System and Context Boundaries)
Requirments Elicitation (Requirments Sources and Elicitation)
Requirements Documentation
Documentation of Requirments using Natural Language
Model-based Documentation of Requirements
Requirements Validation and Negotiation
Requirements Management
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I recommend you become familar with the BABOK, available from the IIBA. It is the standard - at least in the US and Australia - for how to

  • manage requirements
  • manage requirements traceability
  • maintain requirements
  • communicate requirements

It describes techniques for how to achieve these things, as well the necessary business inputs and oututs.

The guide is not free, but it is inexpensive, well-written, and practical.

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I came upon these templates a few weeks ago on HN - US Military MIL-STD-498 standard project management documents.

http://kkovacs.eu/free-project-management-template-mil-std-498

Been thinking about tailoring a set for exclusive UX use and sharing them as a template for other UX advocates that need to approach large businesses.

I'd recommend taking a look at:

http://kkovacs.eu/stuff/MIL-STD-498-templates-html/SDD.html

Lots of interesting stuff.

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