Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Pilar Pazos

Committee Member

Charles Daniels

Committee Member

Ariel Pinto


Despite considerable time and resources spent on the initiation phase of software projects, discrepancies often exist between formal project documentation, customer requirements, and final project specifications. Such discrepancies in the requirements management process can have a very negative impact on final project outcomes. A Business Requirements Document (BRD) constitutes the formal software requirements documentation, which typically includes stakeholders’ needs and expectations and project scope while providing a clear project roadmap and project plan. According to IEEE standards, a BRD should be a structured document that includes specific elements such as functional and technical requirements while incorporating certain traits such as traceability and verifiability. Numerous studies indicate that most software companies do not ritually follow accepted standards, such as IEEE, while developing their BRDs and we know little about the relationship between requirements documentation project outcome. This thesis is a study the impact of requirements documentation quality on software project’s outcomes through a random sample of software projects from 12 different hospitals within a large healthcare provider. Requirements documentation quality was evaluated against IEEE standards. Projects’ cost and schedule metrics were used to assess project outcomes. Results outline the key elements of the requirements documentation process that are associated to project success.