Optimize Requirement Gathering to Effectively Serve the Business


Published on

Poor requirements are the number one reason that projects fail – take a strategic approach to optimizing requirements gathering in order to give the business what it needs.

Your Challenge
Poor requirements are the number one reason that projects fail. Requirements gathering and management has been an ongoing bother for IT professionals for decades.
If proper due diligence for requirements gathering is not conducted, then the applications that IT is deploying won’t meet business objectives, and will fail to deliver adequate business value.
Inaccurate requirements definition can lead to significant amounts of project rework and hurt the organization’s financial performance. It will also create significant damage to the working relationship between IT and the business.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

To avoid making makeshift solutions, an organization needs to gather requirements with the desired future state in mind.
Creating a unified set of standard operating procedures is essential for effectively gathering requirements, but many organizations fail to do it.
Centralizing governance of requirements processes with a Requirements Gathering Steering Committee or Requirements Gathering Center of Excellence can bring greater uniformity and cohesion when gathering requirements across projects.

Impact and Result

Enhanced requirements analysis will lead to tangible reductions in cycle time and reduced project overhead.
An improvement in requirements analysis will strengthen the relationship between business and IT, as more and more applications satisfy stakeholder needs.
More importantly, the applications delivered by IT will meet all of the “must have” and at least some of the “nice to have” requirements, allowing end users to successfully execute their day-to-day responsibilities.

Published in: Business

Optimize Requirement Gathering to Effectively Serve the Business

  1. 1. Optimize Requirements Gathering to Effectively Serve the Business Poor requirements are the #1 reason projects fail – take a strategic approach to optimize requirements gathering to give the business what it needs! Proper requirements management is a challenge that has plagued IT managers for decades. The cost of poor requirements are non-trivial: project overruns, insufficient delivery of business value, and a hit to IT’s reputation. Despite the challenges inherent with proper requirements management, few organizations have put the necessary effort into standardizing and adopting best practices for requirements management. Rethink your approach to requirements gathering and stop paving the cow paths! Just because a process is currently performed a certain way, it does not mean the new application should be designed to do the same. Envision the optimal path before commiting to specific capabilities. Up to 50% of project rework is attributable to problems with requirements, and of projects that fail, 70% fail due to poor requirements. As a result… • IT receives the blame for any project shortcomings or failures. • IT loses its credibility and ability to champion future projects. • Late projects can tie up IT resources longer than planned. • Cost overruns can come directly out of IT budget. Following the Info-Tech requirements gathering framework will… • Reduce overall project time. • Reduce overall project costs. • Reduce instances of errors. • Increase business value of application. Identify and analyze requirements management performance gaps Don’t complete things out of order by investing in expensive requirements management software before addressing people and process related performance gaps. The perfect tool is useless without the underlying people and processes in place. Plan for requirements gathering Having a standardized approach to requirements management is critical, and it should take the form of a set of Standard Operating Procedures. The SOP should cover all the major bases of requirements management. Elicit requirements There is a time and place for each elicitation technique. Don’t become too reliant on the same ones. Diversify your approach based on the elicitation goal. Analyze requirements The analysis phase is where requirements are compiled, categorized, and prioritized to simplify requirements management. Many organizations prematurely celebrate being finished the elicitation phase and do not perform adequate diligence in this phase; however, analysis is crucial for a smooth transition into validation. Assess and validate requirements and solutions Some may argue the biggest challenge in the validation phase is getting stakeholders to sign-off on the requirements package, but the real challenge is getting stakeholders to actually read it. Prepare a user friendly requirements package. Manage, communicate, and test Requirements Track requirements from inception through to testing by implementing traceability tools. Even if you’re not using a dedicated requirements management suite, you still need a way to trace requirements.