TC 3: Requirements Engineering - From Confusion to Clarity - Douglas Craig

Training day presentation

Course Overview

QinetiQ (and its predecessor, DERA) has been studying, developing and providing training in the Systems Engineering field since the mid-1990s, and was a key part of the Ministry of Defence's move to 'SMART Acquisition', and the early development of Cranfield's MSc in Systems Engineering for Defence. This session comes from this context, and has been developed from analysis of over a hundred requirements gathering projects, both by the presenter and by others, across maritime, land, air and information domains.

Aims and Objectives

To increase understanding of the role played by Requirements Engineering, and the Requirements Engineer, in any complex endeavour, how it is applied (and mis-applied), and to provide some practical techniques to help in steering a project towards success.

Intended audience/potential interest:

  • Anyone engaged in Systems Engineering
  • Anyone wishing to extract order from chaos
  • Anyone wishing to improve the foundations upon which any endeavour is set.

Course content includes:

Recognising flavours of Requirements Engineering

Before even starting to elicit requirements it helps to know what sort of endeavour you are engaged in.  Examples include:

  • Market-led
  • Enterprise/Business
  • Capability focussed
  • System-led
  • Technology/Product-driven

Each has its own wrinkles, and benefits from different approaches.  The session will cover how to recognise your starting point, and what to do next.

Understanding different types of requirement

All too often different types of requirement get thrown together, increasing complexity rather than managing it as good Systems Engineering should do, confusing attempts at trade-off and leading to Stakeholder dissatisfaction.

The reverse is often true – elements of requirements get split apart, increasing the number of statements to be dealt with, and losing coherence.

The session will cover being able to filter information to form Requirements at the appropriate level to simplify complex endeavours.

Keeping it simple – how to put the theory into practice

This course will help participants, through highly interactive group work and hands-on exercises, really to get to grips with some of the issues which beset many projects (and which may not even be identified as requirements-related).

Specific techniques in applying the craft of Requirements Engineering will be covered and put into practice in this session.

Requirements Engineering in an MBSE environment

Model-Based Systems Engineering is an increasingly popular subject, and this session will look at the place of Requirements Engineering within it.

Wash up

Each session is interactive, and the final one gives everyone a chance to reflect on what they have learned and plan how to take advantage of it.


Course Trainer


Douglas is a Systems Engineering Skill Group Leader in QinetiQ, and is the Capability Owner for Requirements Engineering.

His work has a particular focus on Requirements, Acceptance, and Acquisition Support across Maritime, Land, Air and Information domains in both military, civilian and international environments. He manages a diverse Group of 70 Systems Engineers, has a Master's degree in Systems Engineering for Defence & has led a broad range of Systems Engineering & Requirements projects, including: Requirements Elicitation, Engineering & Management, Acceptance planning, Technical Assurance, Capability Acquisition, Training & Through Life Decision Management research. He has 31 years' experience of managing projects, dealing with groups & individuals from Chief Executive level through to operators, in the SE, process & quality management fields.