QA, QC & Testing

Requirement Gathering

The UK driving license authority has started issuing plastic photo card licenses. These are designed to replace the paper based licenses that are still widely in circulation.

The plastic photo card license can be used anywhere in the world to hire a car EXCEPT in the UK. In the UK, the paper based license must be used in conjunction with the photo card license to hire a car. This seems strange because one would assume that because the photo card license is issued by the UK driving license authority, it would be perfectly acceptable in the UK.

However, the reason why hire organisations won't accept just the photo card license is down to there being no listing of driver convictions included on the photo card.

The paper license includes any driving convictions accrued including penalty points awarded.

Car hire organisations in the UK for insurance reasons, need to know the number of endorsements a potential hirer has. To ensure that the insurance supplied is not invalidated if the hirer is uninsurable due to too many driving endorsements.

Outside the UK, driving endorsements are not considered when a vehicle is hired so the photo card license is perfectly acceptable without the paper based driving license.

There simply is no space on the photo card license to list the endorsements. Space is taken up by the details of the driver including a photo and a list of the vehicles the driver is entitled to drive.

There is no additional space available to list any driving endorsements.

Why does the photo card license have no space for driving penalties?

Whatever appears on the licence does so because of the requirements laid down before the licence was developed.

The quality of these requirements ultimately affects the quality of the product delivered and the requirements for this licence were probably rather lacking.

During the requirements stage, greater effort should have been made on establishing the uses of this photo card licence and how it could eradicate the use of its paper equivalent.

Instead of using more space focusing on what type of vehicle entitlement a person has, this space could have been used more effectively.

The people involved with the requirements should have talked to different types of organisations that would be affected by the new licence type.

This 'gathering' of information from the different parties that could be affected by the licence is known as requirement gathering.

Ultimately the best person to gather requirements from would be the person who will use the product under development.

In this case, the requirement gathering should have taken into consideration how vehicle hire organisations would perceive the new licence.

Another excellent example of inappropriate requirements comes from the packaging industry, where the carton has become king at the expense of the glass bottle.

The initial designs of the carton included some designs that were not only very efficient to manufacture and cheap to make but were extremely cumbersome to open.

These milk cartons required a great degree of force to open and in many cases simply by opening with force needed, caused the contents to spill everywhere.