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technical requirements

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Technical requirements, in the context of software development and systems engineering, are the factors required to deliver a desired function or behavior from a system to satisfy a user’s standards and needs. Technical requirements can refer to systems like software, electronic hardware devices or software-driven electronic devices.

Technical requirements are a part of requirements analysis (also known as requirements engineering), an interdisciplinary field in engineering that involves the design and maintenance of complex systems.

The factors considered in technical requirements are often referred to as “itties” as this is the same suffix on many of the factor types. Factors include types include accessibility, adaptability, usability, auditability, maintainability and performance. The combination of factors and the individual emphasis of each to most effectively meet the needs of users are determined through a consultation process.

The other side of requirements analysis is functional requirements, which define the desired output or behavior of a system. Though a system may achieve the desired output or behavior without meeting technical requirements, it will likely be unusable. For example, a program might not meet reasonable performance goals. On the other hand, if a system does not meet functional requirements, it can have all the performance in the world but can’t deliver the expected output. One example of that situation might be a calculator that makes incorrect calculations, albeit very swiftly.

This was last updated in July 2018

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