High Risk Requirements

The systems engineer must go through the full list of requirements and identify, as early as possible, those requirements that represent high risk to the development effort. Typically, high-risk requirements push or extend the state of the art in one or more technology areas. Examples of such areas may include

• Integration of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software with development software

• Advanced expert systems

• Voice-actuated computer systems

• Extremely high-power or high-frequency devices

• Multimedia systems

• Very high-capacity, dense storage systems

• Real-time command and control systems

• Forcing the team to adopt a development approach where a COTS approach would be sufficient

High-risk requirements also show up as risks in terms of meeting schedule and cost constraints. As the team experiences difficulties in solving the technical problems associated with high-risk developments, schedules tend to slip and costs begin to rise. This ''domino effect'' in trying to deal with high-risk requirements can easily result in failure of the project.

Where there is substantial risk associated with certain requirements, the systems engineering team has to focus attention on how to meet these requirements, or attempt to relax such requirements through negotiations with the customer, especially where performance is not significantly affected.

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Project Management Made Easy

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