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A requirement is a statement about the necessary quality or ability

  1. that is needed by a person to achieve a goal.
  2. that a system or system parts must fulfill or have in order to fulfill a contract or to comply with a standard , a specification or other formally prescribed documents.

Product requirements

In the quality management standard DIN EN ISO 9000 : 2005, a requirement is defined as "a requirement or expectation that is defined, usually presupposed or mandatory". The term usually means that the presence of an expected feature is the rule rather than the exception. For example, when buying a car, “solid rust protection” is expected, even if this is not explicitly stated. In addition, the standard provides for the use of a defining word for the term requirement. The purpose of this term is to limit the scope described by the term requirement. For example, the term “product requirement” can be used to describe a requirement for a product and at the same time to achieve a clear separation from the product creation process (process requirement).

Requirements can be formulated by various interested persons such as the customer of a product, the engineers commissioned with the development, etc. The requirements are generally recorded in writing, for example in checklists, specifications , requirement lists , questionnaires , etc.

In software technology, special requirement descriptions have been established that are placed on software , see: Requirements (IT) .

Specific uses of the term

Depending on the subject, the term is used in other nuances:

Work study

In working studies , the requirements that a work system places on the working person is the subject of consideration when determining the requirements . REFA defines the requirement as “the totality of the physical and psychological requirements for performing the work”.

Materials management

In materials management , requirement denotes:


Requirements in ( educational ) fields of work - in the field of education:

In the current discussion about educational standards and competencies in the area of pupils and teachers , the term “requirement” is used very often.

It is used to define standards and skill levels more precisely by emphasizing that one is able to meet certain requirements. This appears very questionable if it is not further elaborated on what is meant by “requirement”.

Attempt to define: Requirements here mean conceptual constructs that are usually formulated in keywords and relate to the relationship between people and situations . These constructs characterize the framework of consensual goals, products, successes or services as well as the form of actions that are as appropriate to the situation as possible in order to effect them efficiently.

(Requirement as a reconstructed target for a person capable of acting - with a relative reference to the individual and to the ( professional ) field of action)


In psychology , requirements denote the totality of the objective requirements of the activity of the person for the successful fulfillment of a certain task - that is, the transfer of a certain initial state of the activity object to a defined and evaluated final state - given the external conditions of the activity.


In recruitment , several requirements are usually specified, which are then referred to as a requirement profile.

Environmental management

In environmental management and occupational safety management , requirements are placed on machines, methods and processes so that the corresponding protection goals can be achieved (see: Risk ).

Software development

In the development process for software, requirements apply to describe the desired range of functions. They are formulated by the client and evaluated and documented as part of a requirements analysis . See: Requirements Management .

See also

Wiktionary: Requirement  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. REFA Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Hrsg.): Methodology of the company organization: Lexicon of the company organization . Munich: Carl-Hanser, 1993. - ISBN 3-446-17523-7 . Page 14.