Managing requirements is never an easy process. From the very first requirements gathering tasks to the end of the project, there are often an innumerable amount of opportunities to slip up on seemingly minor details that could put the entire project management at risk.
It’s commonly known that requirements management can be the difference between a project’s success or its out and out failure; moreover, the most successful of projects is one that has a robust requirements management process.
So in this guide we look at the ways in which you should be aiming to reduce risk, and how there are steps you can take that ensure that your risk management works for you and your business.
Well established initial requirements
Establishing thorough requirements at the beginning of the business process will have an impact for the remaining term of the project. This period of time can impact upon every vital part of your project, from budget to time scale. Therefore you should commit a suitable amount of time to these initial stages. This can prove to be difficult if you are working to a tight deadline, however you should ensure that the client is made aware if the deadline they have set is unreasonable. People that aren’t involved within the project professionally can easily underestimate the time required and how much time should be committed to this section.
Focussing on the problem
Focussing on a project’s problem may sound like rather an obvious task, however given the nature of projects and the many incremental steps involved it can be all too easily to slowly move away from solving the problem and placing more of a priority on stakeholder’s that are demanding or emphasising their subset of issues.
To address this you should continually refer back the original project management outline, and if it is found that you have strayed at all you must refer back to the client and stakeholders to address the issues and reprioritise the project’s focus. Good business analysis is important here.
Undoubtedly the biggest problem and the reason that so many projects fail is the issue of poor communication, or communication that, for whatever reason, is ineffective in ensuring that all stakeholders have a full understanding of the project’s proposed solutions.
This process is further complicated by the wide and varied nature of stakeholders involved; choice of terminology. At www.requirementone.com our software development has been created to prevent these issues with the project management process.
Stakeholder conflictions will occur in pretty much every project in every industry; whilst one person that will be involved in the use of the system on a daily basis will forward what should be invaluable opinions, a person higher up the chain will have the final say. This situation is far from ideal, and a skillset that is nothing short of a delegate is required if you are to manage requirements for the benefits of the end system.
Reducing risk through effective requirements management is essential to any project; whilst there are risks inherently linked with requirements – the considered and careful planning of a project can go beyond addressing the possibility of an issue.