Bill Holmes - Inventions - Integrated Requirements Capture and Software DevelopmentAfter examining the requirements in job listings for UML, Agile and yet-another-methodology, I surveyed all the popular requirements capture methods, and concluded that they all waste time generating lots of text and artifacts to which users must adapt, management doesn't read, and developers ignore, because they are maintained as files, which are of insufficient granularity to make quick and accurate queries for pertinent information possible. Simple changes are extremely expensive. Entire specifications must be read and entire diagrams must be examined to extract the bits of information pertinent to each participant during definition, design, programming and test. Thanks to the absurd use of pronouns and acronyms, confusion and errors abound. There is no connection between requirements, meta data, programs or tests that does not require human interpretation or intervention.
Previously I developed a database system that generates model-specific manuals from a generic product manual. The "custom manual" database can be extended with additional layouts into a requirements collection system that includes graphics and meta data. Export the found set as conventional functional requirements or technical specification documents. Additional layouts with software commands and meta data (variable) popups instead of formatting popups can replace error-prone typing as the primary software development method. Want a different language? Add another layout. Export the found set as a text file for compilation, execution and test. Compare each software function with the requirement directly related thereto by way of the relational database to determine if the requirements are in fact satisfied. Want to reuse software? Search for similar requirements to find related code.
This approach is a miniature of the solid model feature-based method of enterprise integration and management I defined for hardware product design, manufacture and support.