2.110.1 Requirements Engineering Directive

Manual Transmittal

September 23, 2015


(1) This transmits revised IRM 2.110.1, Requirements Engineering, Requirements Engineering Directive.


Establishes the Requirements Engineering Program Office’s authority and responsibility for the definition of Requirements Development and Requirements Management process areas; hereafter referred to as Requirements Engineering, and defines the essential Requirements Engineering practices that all software development projects should employ.

Material Changes

(1) IRM Deleted levels of service.

(2) IRM (3): Modified Mentoring and Coaching.

(3) IRM (4): added information on Tools Management and Support.

(4) IRM Updated Program/Project Directives section.

(5) IRM Deleted Waivers and Deviations section.

Effect on Other Documents

This directive supersedes the MITS Requirements Engineering Directive, V1.0 dated 05/2011.


The Requirements Engineering Directive is applicable to all projects following the Information Technology Enterprise Life Cycle.

Effective Date


Terrence V. Milholland
Chief Technology Officer


  1. Requirements Engineering Directive


  1. The Requirements Engineering Program Office (REPO) is responsible for the development, implementation, and maintenance of this directive. Approval of this directive, including updates, rests with REPO. All proposed changes to this directive must be submitted to REPO.


  1. The purpose of this directive is to establish REPO's authority and responsibility for the definition, execution, and oversight of the Requirements Development and Requirements Management process areas, hereafter referred to as Requirements Engineering (RE). This directive clarifies expectations for REPO to support the establishment and advancement of the RE discipline, and the expectations of all Programs and Projects that develop or maintain systems within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


  1. All Programs and Projects that develop or maintain systems are required to perform requirements engineering processes and associated activities in accordance with this directive, and are subject to REPO review and risk reporting to ensure compliance. The RE discipline includes, but is not limited to, requirements elicitation, definition, and management through a model based approach supported by business process modeling, business rules, visualization, and textual based requirements. This directive, along with REPO training, guidance, coaching, material, and tools, supports all defined Enterprise Life Cycle (ELC) paths at the IRS.

  2. REPO’s RE Authority and Responsibilities are further described in Paragraph 1.4.1 in the Organizational Directives.


  1. The following section is broken down into Organizational and Program/Project Directives. Organization Directives are those followed by REPO in order to define and institutionalize RE across the IRS. Program/Project Directives are those that must be followed by all Programs and Projects at the IRS.

Organizational Directives:
  1. Definition: REPO is responsible for defining, developing, updating, and institutionalizing the RE discipline to facilitate program/project implementation of quality requirements that accurately reflect the needs of the business and its customers. REPO’s definition of the RE methodology supports all ELC paths including, but not limited to, the Waterfall and agile approaches.

  2. Education and Training: REPO is responsible for making education and training available to personnel in overall RE methodology, supporting best practices, tailoring, RE methodology implementation against software development lifecycles, and use of supporting requirements tools.

  3. Mentoring and Coaching: REPO assists and partners with program and project teams to effectively implement the RE discipline and raise the team’s RE skill level. REPO provides available support for the development and management of requirements through all phases of the system life cycle. The level of assistance is tailored to criticality, scope of need, and resources.

  4. Tools Management and Support: REPO supports projects by ensuring requirements engineering methodology and standards are enforced through the use of various COTS tools. These tools include, but are not limited to: Rational RequisitePro, Rational System Architect, Rational Requirements Composer (RRC), Rational Team Concert (RTC), Rational Publishing Engine (RPE), Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence (RRDI), iRise, JustinMind and the REPO Microsoft Excel Repository. These tools provide assistance to projects with business solutions planning, analysis, business process modeling, operational concept development, business solution architecture, business rules and requirements development, visualization and simulations for early requirements development and strategic planning.

  5. Quality Assurance and Process Compliance, Including review: REPO will assist Programs and Projects in assuring adherence of RE processes and RE products against REPO methodology and process guidance. REPO holds compliance approval authority of RE work products and artifacts identified in the ELC. At its discretion or by authorized REPO management request, REPO will review selected system initiatives for RE quality and compliance with RE process and methodology guidance. Gaps identified will be recorded as risks and provided to the project for disposition.

  6. Process Improvement: REPO will revise and extend the RE process, including activities, roles, responsibilities, methods, tools, and templates. It will continue to improve education and training material, delivery and availability, and coaching and consulting services execution, based on feedback, lessons learned, and ongoing industry analysis. REPO will work with all process owners to further improve the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC).

Program/Project Directives:
  1. To ensure compliance to REPO guidance, all Programs and Projects shall do the following:

    • Follow the ELC: In accordance with the selected ELC path, complete all requirements activities, ELC deliverables, and submit appropriate Data Item Descriptions (DIDs) to REPO for approval.

    • Training: Prior to conducting RE activities, ensure training is received by personnel on the objectives, processes, and procedures for performing RE activities, and proper use and application of RE Tools according to REPO defined methodologies.

    • Scope: Define, analyze, and document scope and requirements using models, rules, visualization, user stories, and statements in a way that maximizes understandability, completeness, maintainability, and aligns with REPO guidance.

    • Tool Usage: Manage all requirements and trace relationships using a REPO supported tool in conjunction with a REPO defined template and usage model.

    • Release Allocation: Prioritize requirement artifacts and allocate them against releases.

    • Monitor RE Execution: Monitor execution of the RE process against the plans that define and control development activities and take appropriate corrective action when necessary. This includes responding to all feedback from REPO reviews.

    • Analyze Requirements: Utilize modeling, rules, visualization, and other REPO supported techniques to elaborate and decompose requirements to a level that can be understood by the business and built against by the development team. Reusable Program Level Requirements (RPLRs) must be assessed to ensure that Section 508, Security, Privacy, Fraud Detection, Operational, Custodial Financial, IPv6, etc., are incorporated into the system design and development.

    • Visualization: All new development programs, projects, or releases with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) will simulate the user interface requirements with the standard REPO visualization tool. The visualization will serve as the detailed user interface requirements.

    • Traceability: Create and maintain requirement trace relationships that results in an integrated set of requirements, work products, and components. Trace relationships will be established and maintained in a REPO supported repository in adherence to that repository’s REPO standard.

    • Validation: Involve stakeholder(s) in validating the RE artifacts throughout the lifecycle to make sure the user’s needs are met. Stakeholder(s) should also be involved in validation activities, such as the Customer Technical Review (CTR).

    • Verification: Engage in Peer Reviews of RE work products throughout development to identify defects early. Establish trace relationships to test cases to verify that the requirements have been met.

    • Change Management: Conduct change management in accordance with Requirements Plan and Configuration Management Plan leveraging requirements-related measures as appropriate to identify and monitor scope creep and volatility.

    • Configuration Management (CM): Place RE artifacts under CM levels of control in accordance with IRS CM policies, directives, processes, and procedures and in support of the reporting standards established within the ELC DIDs.

Appendix A: Glossary

  1. Term Definition
    Programs Established Program Management Office, which includes new development, legacy, and planned maintenance
    Projects Develops or maintains systems which includes, but is not limited to, new development, legacy, and planned maintenance
    Requirements Engineering Includes Requirements Development and Requirements Management activities
    Usage Model The set of Use Cases/Scenarios/User Stories for each role that must be supported by the solution to allow programs/projects to execute according to the defined IT practices based on the IRS development lifecycle

Appendix B: Abbreviations and Acronyms

  1. Acronyms Definitions
    DID Data Item Description
    ELC Enterprise Life Cycle
    IRS Internal Revenue Service
    IT Information Technology
    RE Requirements Engineering
    REPO Requirements Engineering Program Office