We're university students taking a course in information systems engineering.

We have project and we've had a meeting with the teacher playing the role of a dentist and a helping girl playing the role of a secretary , the meeting was for gathering requirements for a system for dentists.

Anyway the teacher has asked us to deliver a documentation for the meeting, we asked him "what should we write and is there a standard", he said "there is a standard and you should look by yourself".

I've googled and it seems there is a standard for documenting interviews in researches but I'm not sure if those apply to requirements gathering interview as well.

I want to ask as a software engineer who had finished a requirements gathering interview : how would I document this interview ? what is the structure ?

2 Answers 2


The standard related to the development and management of software requirements is ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148:2011 - Systems and software engineering - Life cycle processes - Requirements engineering, which superseded IEEE 830-1998 - IEEE Recommended Practice for Software Requirements Specifications. Neither document provides a standard format for conducting or documenting a requirements interview, but focus instead on recommendations and best practices for capturing requirements. To the best of my knowledge, there is no such software industry standard that covers structuring or documenting a requirements interview.

Karl Wiegers and Joy Beatty, in Software Requirements 3rd Edition, cite Howard Podewsa's The Business Analyst's Handbook and Ian Alexander and Ljerka Beus-Dukic's Discovering Requirements: How to Specify Products and Services for guidance on conducting interviews:

  • Establish a relationship through introductions, interview objectives, and addressing questions or concerns of the stakeholders
  • Define and remain within the scope or objective of the interview
  • Prepare questions and any required models, diagrams, or mockups before the interview
  • Suggest ideas and alternatives
  • Use active listening techniques

an interview is an interview - that format is used for recording the results of the interview itself, even if you then use it to write up a different set of requirements documentation using a different standard.

What I've always done is make notes of pertinent points, bullet-point them in a document, and assign actions to people based on those points. I don't think I ever knew there was a standard for recording interviews, and nearly everyone I know made it up as they went along. I think most people in IT consider it more important to record the details, not the format used.

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