I beg of you, please don’t call them non-functional requirements!

I was introduced to someone a little while ago who had the unfortunate job title of ‘non-functional analyst’.  I know what his role is for it’s just the term, ‘non-functional’ within his job title, which suggests that he doesn’t function. Knowing the guy and, seeing his work, it’s quite obvious that he functions adequately.

Anyway, I digress, we often talk about ‘non-functional’ requirements, but please, lets not get carried away with techie jargon, it does nothing but support a stigma of the uncool, geeky, ‘IT people’ who don’t know how to talk to ‘Business’ people. Some of us are trying desperately to be ‘cool’, but more importantly if we can’t relay the context of what we are saying we may as well say nothing.
So instead of ‘non-functional requirements’ lets discuss the ‘qualities’ or ‘operational requirement’ of a feature. Instead of ‘Acceptance Criteria’, it’s ‘What does good/success look like?’, instead of ‘RIPE address’ just say ‘Internet facing IP address’ or even better “what do you see when you go to whatsmyip.org?” and most importantly instead of discussing “technical debt” lets discuss the things which impact “development efficiency”.

So what are your thoughts?

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