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A requirement is a declaration of intent, demand or desire, by an agent, on behalf of some person or group or company or community. 


We have developed the notion of third-order requirements engineering, which goes beyond conventional approaches, to deal with issues of changing requirements and procurement.

Alternatively, a requirement may be a projection of some intent demand or desire onto some other agent or community.


This leads to an ecological approach to requirements engineering.

The Paradox of Demanding Solutions Requirements engineering is doomed to fail; the user's needs will never be met; the customer will never be satisfied; there is always more work to do.

In Praise of Scope Creep Short provocative article

Changing Requirements

Demanding SolutionsA theoretical model of technological innovation

veryard projects - innovation for demanding change

Third Order Requirements Engineering

veryard projects > requirements > third order

The aim of the requirements formulation process is a statement that can be expressed in the form ‘We Require This’, a statement which contains three components.  However, requirements engineering usually fails to address the whole requirements statement.
focus on evolution of client
focus on evolution of process
focus on evolution of solution
First order
Second Order
Third Order

Most approaches to requirements engineering only address the solution, and take the process (including the procurement process) for granted.  We refer to these approaches as first order requirements engineering.
Some approaches (notably the soft systems methodology as well as ORDIT) address the process as well as the solution.  We refer to these approaches as second order requirements engineering.
Both first order and second order requirements engineering consider the identification of the client to be merely a matter of correctly naming all the stakeholders.  The development of the group identity of the requirements owner (as well as the other participants in the requirements engineering process) is only properly addressed by what we are calling third order requirements engineering.
more R.A. Veryard & J.E. Dobson, 'Third Order Requirements Engineering: Vision and Identity', in Proceedings of REFSQ 95, Second International Workshop on Requirements Engineering, (Jyvaskyla, Finland: June 12-13, 1995) 
more Stakeholder Identification, Stakeholder Change, Requirements Change

veryard projects - innovation for demanding change

Requirements Engineering - Links

veryard projects > requirements > links

more RESG: The BCS Requirements Engineering SIG

Ian F Alexander's Home Page

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This page last updated on November 17th, 2003
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