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Requirements Writing

University of New South Wales via Coursera


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Welcome to "Requirements Writing". As the title indicates, over the next four weeks, we will be looking at the important task of writing of text-based requirement statements. The course takes you step by step through the rules for writing requirements statements in accordance with the "Guide for Writing Requirements" published by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). This course welcomes anyone who wants to find out how to write requirements. It is relevant to anyone in project management, engineering, QA, logistic support, operations, management, maintenance and other work areas. No specific background is required, and we welcome learners with all levels of interest and experience.


  • Welcome & Introduction to the Course
    • Welcome to the Requirements Writing MOOC. The course is run over five weeks. During the first four weeks you will complete four modules (one each week) that progressively move through the rules for writing requirements. Each week, you will have the opportunity to undertake a module quiz as many times as you wish to ensure that you have a grasp on the module material. The quizzes are drawn from a large set of questions, so each time you do the quiz, you will see new questions to test your knowledge. In Week 5, there will not be any presentations but you will have time to review the four modules and practice the module quizzes again so that you are prepared for the course exam.
  • Requirements Writing Continued
    • As we saw in the last module, the writing of good requirements is essentially about removing the ambiguity from the resulting statement. We first identified a suitable structure for the statement and we then began to look at the rules that we should keep in mind when writing requirements. In this module we continue to move through the rules, particularly as they relate to the use of vague and superfluous words.
  • Requirements Writing Continued
    • In the last module we addressed more of the rules we need to follow in order to develop good requirement statements. In particular we looked at the rules that relate to the use of vague and superfluous words. In this module we address more of those rules, starting with some more rules about other words we should avoid when writing requirements. In particular, we look at avoiding conjunctions unless we introduce a formal convention for logical conditions. We also discuss why we must avoid unbounded statements and escape clauses.
  • Requirements Writing Continued
    • In Module 4, we complete our look at the rules for writing requirements. In particular, we focus on when we should and should not be precise; how to use units, ranges and tolerances; and some final things to avoid (such as cross-references, including pronouns, and the use of “not” in forming negative requirements).
  • Final Exam and Information about Further Study
    • This final module allows you some time to revise the first four modules and the quizzes in order to prepare for the completion of the course exam. The exam questions are drawn from the same large pool of questions as the quizzes—so you should not be surprised by the test questions since you will have seen something very similar if you have prepared by completing the quizzes a sufficient number of times. We also provide some addition information regarding the Master of Systems Engineering program at UNSW Canberra.

Taught by

Dr Mike Ryan


4.6 rating at Coursera based on 330 ratings

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