Gather requirements is a science, a process, an art; you require a lot of knowledge to perform it properly.
The first thing to do is to analyze the issues that the industry is recognizes and the specific lessons learned from your customer or environment.
- “…The Industry average for project Investment in the requirements process is 3% of project cost but….…when 8-14% of project costs are invested in the system life-cycle requirements process, there is a much higher probability of achieving lower costs and improved schedule. (American Management Association 2001)…”
- Poor requirements management accounts for as much as 71% of software project failures (www.compuware.com, 2006)
- “…Acme customer never pays attention to security requirements, and we struggle to identify all combinations of access to the different layers. We identified that clear tables with all status and combinations are required to really generate the debate into Acme team…”
If you are involved gathering requirements on a customer you have to ber fully aware about all that is happening around you, due to the fact that this process is highly visible to the customer.
- It enables the customer to understand their concerns and set priorities.
- Your customer will see how you are able to move within the different business units of its corporation.
- It helps the customer visualize the future, in detail, generating a lot of discussions about their own processes.
- It’s a business process that will serve as basis for: obtaining internal approval to go ahead with the specified initiative, serve as input document for the solution design, serve as basis for UAT phase, or for the analysis of COTS.
- It builds confidence that the delivered solution will address their real needs, whether they explicitly state them or not – we see the problem from their perspective.
- Provides a basis for effective budget setting and planning.
- Tracking changes and gaining agreement, will reduce risks in the following phases.
- You have to define a completion criteria, as you have limited time and money.
You are not the only one who needs to understand the issues and hurdles you face when you are gathering requirements, all stakeholders have to be aware of them.