Requirements, Trades, and Risks

V. Hunter Adams (vha3), MAE 4160/5160, Spring 2020

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Other reading

In this lecture

  1. Identifying stakeholders and stakeholder needs, goals, and objectives.
  2. Technical requirements definition process.
  3. Types of requirements.
  4. How to write valid requirements.
  5. Requirements verification.
  6. Trade studies.
  7. Evaluating risk.

Sources and further reading

It all starts with stakeholders

A stakeholder is any group or individual that is affected by or has a stake in the product or project. The key players for a project are called the key stakeholders. One of the key stakeholders for your project is always the customer. The customer can be different depending which level in the systems heirarchy that one is working. For engineers working a few levels down the systems heirarchy, the customer may be the leader of a team which takes that engineer's product and integrates it into the larger system. At the highest level, the customer is the person or organization which is purchasing the product.

Other stakeholders may be more difficult to identify, and could include Congress, advisory planning teams, program managers, mission partners, the media, prime contractors, regulatory agencies, end users, etc. The below table shows some examples for stakeholders in a NASA science mission at various phases in its life cycle. For commercial missions, these stakeholders may be quite different.

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