edc_2011_03 - Chapter 3: Writing the Project Definition...

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Chapter 3: Writing the Project Definition 51 CHAPTER 3: WRITING THE PROJECT DEFINITION Chapter outline Mission statement Project deliverables •C o n s t r a i n t s Users and stakeholders Requirements Specifications Format for the project definition Development of the project definition Key Guidelines for Writing the Project Definition Write a solution-independent mission statement that includes mea- surable goals State the deliverables that will be given to the client at the end of the project Identify constraints imposed by the client and regulatory agencies Identify requirements through client interviews, user observation, and other research Define requirements in terms of precise, quantitative specifications Revise the project definition periodically to reflect what you learn through research and testing As you conduct the research outlined in Chapter 2, you will get a clearer idea of the problem your design must solve. In EDC, you keep track of the formu-
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Chapter 3: Writing the Project Definition 52 Constraints: limitations imposed on the design by the client, regula- tors, or other stakeholders (in some cases, these design constraints will not apply to the project deliverable). Users and stakeholders: those who will use, produce, market, install, maintain, or in other ways interact with the product; also, those in the larger community who will be affected by the product. Requirements and specifications: the needs that the users and stake- holders want the design to fulfill, and the measurable values associ- ated with those needs. Engineers translate requirements into specifications as part of the design process. A project definition goes by a variety of names in the engineering workplace. “User requirements,” “functional requirements and constraints,” “engineering specification,” and “the spec” are just a few of these terms. Whatever it is called, the project definition is a living document that parallels the creation of the design itself. Although common sense may suggest other- wise, you don’t write the document first and then create the design. Instead, the document evolves along with your research and testing. The initial version typically has a first-draft mission statement, a general description of the final deliverable, perhaps a few client constraints, and some broad user require- ments, such as “easy to install.” As you learn more about users, your project definition will become more detailed, specific, and focused. For example, an early version of a project definition documenting the design of an innovative
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This note was uploaded on 05/30/2011 for the course MATH 203 taught by Professor Xia during the Summer '00 term at Culver-Stockton.

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edc_2011_03 - Chapter 3: Writing the Project Definition...

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