Getting Realistic User Requirements
A critical part of any project is the requirements management. If you are unsure about what is going to be delivered how will you know when you get there?
I was watching an episode of The Backyardigans the other day with my two five year olds and the characters started singing a song about "What Do You Do with a Scurvy Pirate?" The answer was that you make them walk the plank. So I got to thinking about it...isn't scurvy just a disease that was common on pirate ships and other ships long ago? Was it a reason to walk the plank? Are they using the term on the show to mean something different...like a 'bad' pirate (as if any pirate was a good pirate by definition)? I think the song implied the later...like scurvy = treacherous, diabolical, dangerous, etc.
This article examines the multifaceted role of the Business Analyst and gives a quick depiction of the duties and skills required to embark on such a career. The various aspects of the job is discussed along with a brief template for Business Analyst to manage software development projects. The goal is to make Business Analyst and aspiring to become one to understand the complexity of the career choice.
Requirements Analysis: It all looks so simple in the beginning. But then, whether you are building a new system from scratch or buying a system and customising it to meet the specific business model of your company, you have to go through the grind of analysing the requirements. It's no mean task. The budget can run into scary numbers and that's tough enough. But the more difficult question is how you make sure the new system does what the users (and of course the customers) expect. If you are replacing an existing system, the new system should do whatever the legacy system is doing at least as effectively and efficiently, if not better. That's a huge challenge.
Ensuring that a requirements document is accurate, complete and fully supported by key stakeholders can be critically important. Unfortunately, requirements validation sessions can be protracted and challenging. Oftentimes, the goal of the session is to gain agreement among various stakeholders on a lengthy, detailed requirements document. This can certainly be a tall order, but it can be done!
User Requirements Capture is a research exercise that is undertaken early in a project life cycle to establish and qualify the scope of the project. The aim of the research is to understand the product from a user's perspective, and to establish users' common needs and expectations. The user requirements capture is useful for projects that have a lack of focus or to validate the existing project scope. The research provides an independent user perspective when a project has been created purely to fulfil a business need. The requirements capture findings are then used to balance the business goals with the user needs to ensure the project is a success.
Gathering and managing requirements are important challenges in project management. Projects succeed or fail due to poor requirements at any time throughout the project life cycle. The continuously evolving baseline of requirements needs to be managed effectively. The project manager needs to assess and understand the uniqueness of the requirements gathering process for his/her individual project.
In its simplest form, a Feasibility Study represents a definition of a problem or opportunity to be studied, an analysis of the current mode of operation, a definition of requirements, an evaluation of alternatives, and an agreed upon course of action. As such, the activities for preparing a Feasibility Study are generic in nature and can be applied to any type of project.
A company with poor requirements practices is just asking for over-budget costs and regular failure, according to a new report by IAG Consulting. The report, entitled Business Analysis Benchmark, examined 110 enterprise technology projects at 100 companies to determine just how important requirements are.
Requirements gathering is an essential part of any project and project management. Understanding fully what a project will deliver is critical to its success. This may sound like common sense, but surprisingly it's an area that is often given far too little attention.
A key element of any project is understanding the customer requirements. This is where the Unified Modeling Language (UML) can help.
A critical part of any software development project is the requirements gathering. If you are unclear about what is going to be delivered, how will you know when you get there? Good user requirements lead to better estimates, improved customer satisfaction, reduced cost and a shorter duration.
The Rational Unified Process, Enterprise Unified Process, Agile Development Methodologies, Unified Modeling Languages. They come in many names, complexities and sizes but following one will help ensure success on your next project. This is not a detailed overview of a formal process. Instead it provides an overview of the most critical components common to each, as well as some tips on successfully deploying them.
Recently, I attended a class on managing requirements with Use Cases. It was aimed at training business analysts and programmers to use Unified Modeling Language (UML) to understand and communicate business requirements. As a project manager I found it both enlightening and encouraging.
"The most difficult part of requirements gathering is not the act of recording what the users want; it is the exploratory, developmental activity of helping users figure out what they want." - Steve McConnell