A colleague of mine invented a new word recently.
Every time we had a meeting, and he mentioned requirements, I would point out that, of course, there is no such thing as a requirement – it’s all design. He took my point (or at least he humoured me), but was struggling to let go of the word “requirements” because he was so used to it.
And so he came up with a new word – “desirements”.
It started out as a contraction: design-requirements became “des-irements”. But I quite like the alternative interpretation. Desirements are what stakeholders desire. What they want. Not what they necessarily need. Not necessarily the best thing for them. They are ideas, suggestions, proposals.
This term helps me out of a hole. I’ve been trying for some time now to avoid using the word requirements (walking the talk, as it were) but it’s actually quite hard in an environment where it’s a de-facto standard. Desirements gives me the perfect get-out. People will know what I mean, and will also instantly get that I have an alternative view on requirements, without me having to pause the conversation to present by 5 minute monologue on why there’s no such thing as a requirement.
I’m going to try using the term and see where it gets me. I don’t suppose it will catch on but you never know.