Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Move from Requirement to Execution in 4 Crucial Steps

~ By Kenneth Darter

Project execution diagram

Every project starts with a scope statement. The scope is the high-level view of the project that can be broken down into the requirements and the details required of the final product to meet the original scope statement. As the team moves from requirements to executing tasks on the project, the scope and the requirements must be tracked.

The steps between identifying the requirements and moving to executing tasks and implementing the solution are vital links in the project lifecycle. Four crucial steps ensure that the original scope is met by the project team.

1. Traceability

The requirements must be traced from the original statement of need to the final solution implemented that meets the need. There are many ways to create a traceability document, but even a simple spreadsheet is better than nothing.

The project team needs to have an understanding of why they're designing and implementing the solution in a certain way. With a requirement traceability matrix, they can see where all the decisions are coming from.

There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a project and not knowing why you executed the tasks in the first place. Being able to trace the requirements from beginning to end will ensure that nothing is forgotten and that nothing extra is added to the project without good reason.

2. Drilldown

Ideally, the requirements for the project will be written in a manner that's clear to everyone — but that's not always the case. Sometimes it's far from clear to anyone at all.

The project manager may need to spend some time drilling down on the requirements and verifying that everyone has the same understanding of what each requirement means. This becomes especially important if some time has elapsed between the writing of the requirements and the beginning of the project.

The requirements also need to be written at a specific level in order to drive the design of the solution and the tasks that execute upon that design. A high-level statement is enough at the very beginning. During the project, though, it's not sufficient. There must be enough details for the team to develop and deliver the product to the required level of quality and completeness.

3. Specifications

As you drill down into the requirements, getting a better understanding of them and getting closer to the needs of the customer, you will gather the specifications that create the final product of the project. These specifications need to be documented and worked on by the project team to line up with the project plan.

As the scope statement creates requirements, which create specifications, the project manager needs to keep track of all of the details somewhere so that the project team does not lose anything.

This detailed documentation may be tedious and seem like overkill. Six months down the road, however, no one will remember what was said in the early meetings — or even worse, they will remember incorrectly.

4. Verification

The last step is to verify the original requirement against what was executed by the project team. This can be accomplished with thorough testing that involves all parties — both the project team and the customer. The testing and verification should go straight back to the original requirement and understanding of what the project was designed to accomplish.

Verification is the last step on the way to finishing the project. There must be sufficient time built into the project schedule to ensure that everything is tested and verified appropriately before the project can be considered finished.


These are steps every successful project should work through as the team moves from task execution to final solution. What about our readers? How have your teams handled these steps? Let's discuss.

Do you have something to say about this article? Share it with us on Facebook


Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment

(never displayed)

How many letters are in the word page?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Stop Scope Creep Running Away With Your Project

White pawn with queen's shadow representing concept of evolution

Scope creep causes many project failures. By taking these few simple measures; you can make sure it doesn't affect your projects.

Requirements Hurried…Project Buried

Manager passing a document to a colleague

Innumerable studies have shown that Requirements Gathering is the single most important step in the Software Development Life Cycle.

Best Practices for Scope Management

Businessman drawing a scope management schema

The knowledge area of Scope Management is all about making sure that the project includes only the work required to complete the project successfully.

Requirements Gathering 101

Manager passing a document to a colleague

Requirements gathering is an essential part of any project and a key project management skill. Read ten rules for successful requirements gathering.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.

Latest Comments

Pani Tararo commented on…
- Sat 22 April 12:58am

Cheryl commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Thu 20 April 2:36pm

Dr. Nishikant Bohra commented on…
Who is the Project Manager?
- Thu 20 April 8:00am

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Project management methods - 2 days left to have your say #projectsmart #pmot about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Using Milestones to Make Projects More Manageable #projectsmart #pmot about 2 days ago

General Project Management • 60 Second PM: 5 Tips for Improving as a Project Manager #projectsmart #pmot about 2 days ago