As computer systems become more powerful we are encouraged to tackle larger problems and attempt to find solutions to problems that are ill-defined or have no &quot;solution &quot; because of conflicting groups of interests. The responsible decision in such cases is to refuse to build such a system and to respond by suggesting a number of more modest, solvable, problems for which systems can be constructed. The process of constructing a requirements definition assesses whether the proposed system is well enough defined to allow a clear statement of what it should do. In summary the problems facing us in constructing a requirements specification are: * The size and complexity of systems. * Validating that the requirements capture the need for the system. * Coping with change in the need for the system and revising the requirements document to reflect this. * A new system is expected to be an improvement over the existing situation. Often it is impossible to characterise the existing situation because it is hidden in informal practices that are not visible to the users, the commissioner of the system or the software specialists. * Large systems have many different user communities with different and conflicting interests. * Users and commissioners of the system are often quite different and have radically different expectations of the system
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