Writing Functional Requirements for the Paperclip

writing functional requirements - paperclipImage Source: Flickr by Nicholas Petrone

Is a short description considered enough for a functional requirement? Is the longer, more wordy, version, of actual practical use?

Let’s examine that with the functional requirements for a paperclip.

The Story of the Paperclip: Writing Good Functional Requirements

David Ordal mused, back in 2008, about what would be necessary to write the functional requirements for the humble paperclip.

writing functional requirements - paperclips_schematic
Image Source: stockunlimited.com

He feels that it should be an easy task, and promotes the idea of “keeping it simple”.

The less detail there was the more creative the developers could be.

While I find the idea of writing functional requirements for a paper-clip amusingly fascinating, it’s interesting to take a look at the “short-form’ requirements for this “paper binding device”.

Is it really enough? Or is what David describes an “agile” way of looking at it?

Go read David’s article now, and then come back and tell me what you think. The comments at the bottom of his post are also rewarding to read.

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