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The difference between an enhancement and a requirement?

Randy Hudson (216142) | asked Jun 26 '07, 10:58 a.m.
Requirements can be many things in many states (idea, committed, etc.). But
some requirements have narrow scope, have been "committed", and then spawn
work items that are linked back to the requirement. So my question is how do
these types of requirements differ from an enhancement work item? Similarly,
when someone wants to propose a new feature for your component, what is the
difference between proposing a new requirement and opening an enhancement
work item?

This is a pretty open-ended question, so for the discussion can we narrow
the definition of "requirement" to something that should be traceable to
actual work, e.g. change sets, and eventually builds. I'm pretty sure this
is one form of a requirement, and perhaps a key one since I don't know of
another traceablility path to then end product.

2 answers

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Lauren Hayward Schaefer (3.3k11427) | answered Nov 06 '12, 7:15 a.m.
Hi Randy,
I stumbled on this question from several years ago, but I think it's still relevant.  I tend to think of requirements in terms of new features and enhancements in terms of tweaking/enhancing existing features.  Enhancements are "nice to haves."  We tend to track our requirements using plan items or user stories work items while we track our enhancements using enhancement work items.  I think that ultimately teams have to decide what works best for them and makes sense for their project.

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Ralph Schoon (58.5k23642) | answered Nov 06 '12, 8:28 a.m.
I think it depends and how you want to organize the work and how you want to name things.

If thinking agile, my personal approach would be to see stories or epics as something that is derived from real requirements (RRC) or entered by the team based on any other input.
Defects are for things that appear broken. Anyone should e able to submit them.
Often things are not broken, but there is more to be desired. I would use Enhancement requests for those as general input for things that users would like to see in the future. Proposed requirements if you want. They can have any content. Over time they might end contributing to Epics and stories (or become epics or stories).

Dependent on how you control the process there might be different priorities on these different work item types and that could prioritize Enhancement Requests below Stories and defects.

If more control is needed it would be possible to limit who could create which types of work items.

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