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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Requirements Analysis | General Requirements Analysis Issues ]

Obtaining Assistance With Requirements Definition

If you are having trouble figuring out what your system's requirements are, you may make things easier on yourself by employing the help of a friend or relative. Most people today know at least one person who is "PC savvy". Such resources are often happy to assist with clarifying the requirements of a PC, as well as subsequent steps such as actually laying out the system and its components. (Just make sure you don't make them regret helping you by calling them every night for a month after you get the PC asking them questions. :^) )

Even if you don't know someone who is "in the PC world", two heads can be better than one. At the same time, realize that someone who helps structure your decision for you will likely make you walk through steps similar to the ones described in this Guide. So you don't strictly need someone "outside" to assist.

Tip: You might find PC enthusiasts able to help you with your requirements issues on The PC Guide Discussion Forum on buying help.

Remember that regardless of the advice or assistance you obtain from anyone else, in the end the decision of what to buy and why is yours alone. Even if it seems easier to defer to an "expert", don't fall for the temptation to let someone else make key decisions for you. (Obviously if you are buying a PC for yourself and your family, or to share its use with someone else, you should let those people have input into the system!)

Whatever you do, do not let the friendly PC salesman at your local store "help you" with defining your requirements. I'm not suggesting that all salespeople are malicious; but salespeople don't know you, and they are usually acting in their own self-interest, not yours. They often intentionally confuse needs with wants in order to convince buyers to get more than they really need. They may legitimately help in picking a system, but should not be involved in your requirements analysis.

Next: Specifying and Buying A System For Another

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