The Word “Requirement” is Just Plain Wrong

Software development has been steered wrong by the word “requirement,” defined in the dictionary as “something mandatory or obligatory.” The word carries a connotation of absolutism and permanence, inhibitors to embracing change. And the word “requirement” is just plain wrong. Out of one thousand pages of “requirements,” if you deploy a system with the right 20% or 10% or even 5%, you will likely realize all of the business benefit envisioned for the whole system. So what were the other 80%? Not “requirements”; they weren’t really mandatory or obligatory.

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