What is worse: having badly written requirements or no requirements?

Not so long ago I would have said that having badly written requirements it’s far worst than no requirements. I didn’t actually think it’s possible to have no requirements written for a project. Lately I got a few conversations with a friend who works as a QA and who’s telling me that the project he’s working on does not have any requirements.

– So how are you testing then? I asked.

– Well, they’re writing requirements as we test, he replied.

– Still, how are you writing test cases if you have nothing to base your test cases on? What are you testing the application against?

– The users will be testing and managers don’t want us to write test cases; since the users know how they want to use the program there is no need for us to do test cases for them.

This is the first time I hear in the six years I’ve been doing QA that somebody wants to test an application without having any requirements. I don’t understand. How do you track your project in this case? How do you know that your application does what is supposed to do? But what is the application supposed to do if you don’t have any requirement to tell you???

The way my friend put it: “They don’t listen to us when we tell them how to do QA; they want to do QA the way they want and the way they do it is not QA.”

Photo credits: bast – Thanks!

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