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One of the hardest tasks that business analysts and  product managers are faced with is making sense of large amount of information and requirements they receive from a variety of sources: project stakeholders, business executives, end users, goverment laws and regulations.

In this article, Karl Wiegers helps us deal with this challenge by showcasing nine categories for requirements knowledge which can help you organize your project requirements.

"Elicitation participants won’t simply tell you, “Here comes a business requirement.” As a BA, you need to determine what type of information each statement you hear represents. "

                                                                                                                                                                                               - Karl Wiegers

Requirements Categorization

Here are the nine common categories for requirements:

  • Business requirements
  • User requirements
  • Business rules
  • Functional requirements
  • Quality attributes
  • External interface requirements
  • Constraints
  • Data requirements
  • Solution Ideas

For each clasification, Karl presents types of queues to listen to which will help you categorize the informaton you gather and requirements you receive.

"Classifying the customer input is just the beginning of the process to create good requirements. You still need to assemble the information into clearly stated and well-organized requirements collections. An essential role for a business analyst, product manager, or product owner is to sort through the pile of random customer input and turn it into actionable requirements." 

                                                                                                                                                                                               - Karl Wiegers

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Karl Wiegers

Karl Wiegers is Principal Consultant at Process Impact, a software development consulting and training company in Portland, Oregon. He has a PhD in organic chemistry. Karl is the author of numerous books on software development, most recently Software Requirements, 3rd Edition (with Joy Beatty). He’s also the author of Successful Business Analysis Consulting: Strategies and Tips for Going It Alone, a memoir of life lessons, and a forensic mystery novel, The Reconstruction. You can reach him at or

2021-11-20 How to Categorize Customer Requirements How to Categorize  Customer Requirements

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