When is a requirement truly required?

Choose

  1. The development team creates a spec.desirements requirements acceptance test
  2. The Product Owner says it is.
  3. The business asks for it.
  4. There is a test which actually requires it to be there and fails when it is not.

Comment: We often find ourselves lost in the desirements trying to find the real requirements for our system. Those things which seem required often end up being only desired. The word requirement has suffered more from confusion and misuse than just about any other word in the IT lexicon of development. What is a “nice to have” requirement? I mean really! I have close to 20 years of experience in the industry including training and writing requirements. Even with all of that experience the word still makes me a little crazy. I like the word desirement because of it’s contrast with requirement. When there is a test that makes it required with a pass/fail then it is a requirement, until then it’s just a a desirement.

So, a more interesting question is …. When is a requirement truly required?