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September 2, 2014

So what is a functional requirement anyway?

When PHII’s Requirements Lab begins a new project, one of our first steps following the documentation of business processes is often to begin developing functional requirements with  project partners and stakeholders. This should come as no surprise—it’s right there in our name, after all! Functional requirements are at the core of everything we do, and we believe that a strong, accurate set of functional requirements is an essential ingredient for building a successful information system. 

You can imagine, then, how excited I was when a recent visitor at PHII began talking about functional requirements! Jesse Clarke, an immunization information system manager from Nebraska, has a long history working with functional requirements as a systems developer. While he was attending a training session hosted by PHII, he told us why he believes it’s important to take time to develop them correctly—music to my ears! I was so intent on capturing his thoughts on the subject that I asked him to repeat them while Piper Hale caught his answer on camera.

The resulting footage gave us the perfect excuse to create a video that provides a basic overview of functional requirements and how they work. The video below walks viewers through the basics of functional requirements, as well as how they can be used by developers. Many thanks to Jesse for so good-naturedly agreeing to be the star of our video!

If you want to learn more about how functional requirements fit into our overall process here at PHII, browse our free resources, explore the animated walk-through of our Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology, or watch an introduction to how PHII works with its partners to define the work of public health.