Requirements can be classified into various types, like business requirements, solution requirements, stakeholders’ requirements, transition requirements, quality requirements, etc. Stakeholder’s play an essential role in influencing the success of the project as they involve in determining, documenting, and managing the requirements. Requirements are regarded as the foundation of the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) and for the project managers to work on a particular project would find it difficult without a requirement document because they won’t have anything to work on.
The Collect Requirement is a process that determines, as well as documents and manages the needs and requirements of the stakeholders, to meet the objectives of the project management task. The documentation that takes place within the collect requirement process is considered important as it provides the foundation for defining and managing the scope of the project.
The collect requirements document contains details about the objectives that are needed to satisfy stakeholders’ requirements and also to ensure the project satisfaction. The collect requirement acts as a framework that provides a baseline for the project’s budget, schedule, and quality specifications, risk, and resources plan.
To develop the detailed requirements of the project, the project manager uses the high-level description derived from the project charter to determine the scope of the product.
The project management plan includes the following components;
As the scope management plan determines the essential and valuable aspects of a project, it will provide clarity to the project teams to decide on which type of requirements are to be collected for the project.
The main priority of the project manager is to define and document the needs of the stakeholder. The requirements management plan plays a crucial role in providing the methods/processes that can be used throughout the Collect Requirements process to help the Project Managers achieve these needs.
It is understood that the stakeholder is an integral part of the project. The stakeholder management plan is used by the project manager to understand the stakeholder communication requirements and their level of engagement to assess and adapt to meet their level of participation in achieving requirement activities.
The inputs that can be considered under project documents are listed as below :
The process of assumption log identifies the assumptions regarding the product, project, stakeholders, environmental and other essential factors that can influence the outcome of a particular project
The lesson learned process is used to provide information about the effective requirements collection techniques which especially use an adaptive and iterative product development methodology.
Identifying the key stakeholders of a project is an important task, as they provide information on the requirements of a project. This identification process is made simpler with the use of the stakeholder register. The register helps in capturing the significant needs and primary expectations of the stakeholders that relate to the project.
The business case is what influences the technique of business documents under collect requirements process. This particular technique can be used to describe the required, desired, and optional criteria necessary to meet the business needs.
The Agreements technique is used to collect information about the project and the product requirements necessary for the completion of a particular project.
The enterprise environmental factors which can influence the Collection Requirements Process are as follows – Organization’s culture, Infrastructure, Personnel administration, and Marketplace condition.
A project’s policies, procedures, historical information, and the lesson learned repository which includes information from the previous projects success is the organizational process assets that influence the Collection requirements process.
Listed below are the topics in which the individuals or groups should have specialized knowledge and expertise :
Data gathering techniques that can be used for Collecting Requirements process are :
A group thinking activity, where several people from various teams come together to list requirements for a project. And during the brainstorming session, new ideas are generated from existing plans, which helps to identify new requirements.
Interviewing is the first collect requirements technique. It can be done through both formal and informal ways. The critical feature of this process is that it helps the project manager to interview experienced project participants, sponsors, stakeholders and other executives, and subject matter experts who can aid in identifying and defining the features and functions of the desired product deliverables.
Focus groups bring together prequalified stakeholders and subject matter experts to learn about their expectations and attitudes about a proposed project. Focus Group is a technique used to get a specific set of stakeholders’ requirements. For instance, first, the project manager can organize a meeting with executive directors of a company to get their requirements, and then arrange a separate meeting with the functional managers to understand their requirements.
This technique is best used when there are more stakeholders involved in a project. For example, if there are 200 stakeholders associated with the project, collecting information from each individual to assess their requirements will consume a lot of time. Hence, the project manager is requested to prepare a questionnaire and conduct surveys to collect their requirements list.
Benchmarking is a process that is used to compare the actual or planned practices – procedures and operations, to those of comparable organizations (internal or external) to identify best practices, generate ideas for improving the scope, and provide a framework for measuring the actual performance.
Data analysis mainly deals with the processes that are related to document analysis. The primary purpose of document analysis is to review and assess all the relevant documents information. This process is used to obtain requirements by carefully analyzing the existing documents and identifying relevant details on the requirements.
Various documents are analyzed to help bring out the necessary information for the requirement process, and they are as follows :
The decision-making techniques that can assist in the Collect requirement process are :
Voting is the collective decision-making technique and an assessment process which has various alternatives with a defined outcome. These techniques are further used to generate, classify, and prioritize product requirements. Listed below are the examples of voting techniques:
Unanimity: Unanimity is a decision that is reached whereby everyone agrees on a single course of action. One effective way to achieve accord is the Delphi technique, in which a selected group of experts and stakeholders answer questionnaires and provide their feedback regarding the questions asked which cover all the areas of the project. These responses are resent to the decision makers to and fro until a consensus is reached among the stakeholders.
Majority: The suggestions or ideas that are gathered from the experts are chosen based on the majority of people backing the process. This will allow the project manager to select and implement the best of ideas to achieve the requirements.
Plurality: A decision is finalized based on the opinion of the most significant group in the organization, even when there is no room for a decision based on the majority.
As the title states, the decision is taken by a single individual who has the ultimate authority in the organization.
A technique in which a decision matrix is used to provide a systematic and analytical approach for determining criteria such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank many ideas.
The data representation techniques that can be used for the process of collecting requirements are as follows;
A technique where all the ideas that are collected or gathered are segregated accordingly based on their similarities
The ideas that are generated through the brainstorming sessions are consolidated into a single map to filter out the conventional concepts and understand the differences in opinions which will help in developing new plans.
The interpersonal and team skills techniques that can be used for the process of collecting requirements are as follows;
The technique which uses skills to prioritize the already existing ideas rather than developing new ideas. In this process, the plans are ranked based on their value, and this helps the teams to focus on the essential concepts to generate the project requirements.
Observation, which is also known as ‘Job Shadowing’ is a process where an observer views a business expert performing his job. This process is mainly to strictly observe the activities taking place across various areas to find out what are the actual requirements of the consumer, stakeholder, sponsor, etc.
Facilitation is a technique which has focused sessions that bring key stakeholders together to define product requirements. In general, each group of project stakeholders will look to the project from their very own perspective and express their requirements. Workshops are considered a primary technique for quickly defining cross-functional requirements and reconciling stakeholder differences.
To have actual knowledge of understanding the scope, the context diagram provides an example of the scope model, which will allow the project manager to visualize how a business system (Process, Equipment and Computer systems) will work. This process is used to find out how the business system and the other users interact with each other.
The technique, which involves the process of creating a model of the actual product that, is to be achieved. The team will build this model of the product and pass it on to the stakeholders for collecting their feedback. As the model is a tangible product, the stakeholders can check it thoroughly and request for changes if they find any, instead of waiting until the end by only sharing and discussing abstract representations and ideas.
A technique that describes how individual requirements meet the business need for the project. The requirements may start out at a high level and become progressively more detailed as more information about the requirements is available.
Even before the requirements can be listed down in the project plan, they need to be unambiguous, traceable, complete, consistent, and acceptable to the key stakeholders. The requirements document may take different forms.
It can be a simple document listing all the requirements categorized by stakeholders and priority, to more elaborate forms containing a detailed summary, description, and attachments.
Business and project objectives for traceability
Business rules for the performing organization
Guiding the principles of the organization.
Keeping a note of the impacts that the stakeholder’s requirements might have on other organizational areas
Noting how the stakeholder’s requirements might impact entities inside or outside the performing organization
Stakeholder communication and reporting requirements.
Providing solutions for functional and nonfunctional requirements
Providing solutions to meet the technological and standard compliance requirements
Solutions that provide Support and training requirements
Providing solutions that maintain the Quality requirements
Solution requirements that can be documented textually, in models, or both.
Requirements based on the levels of service, performance, safety, compliance, etc
Those requirements that are approved and come under the acceptance criteria.
The Requirements Traceability Matrix is a document that links requirements throughout the validation process. The purpose of the Requirements Traceability Matrix is to ensure that all requirements defined for a system add business value by connecting it to the business and project objectivities.
It’s a process that provides a way to track requirements throughout the project lifecycle, helping to ensure that requirements approved in the requirements documentation are delivered at the end of the project. Finally, it provides a structure for managing changes to the product scope.
The project manager should maintain a track of all the business needs that are required to be accomplished.
It is imperative that the project manager keeps track of the project objectives in an attempt to ensure that they are achieved in the due process.
The project manager should always maintain a track of the project scope. If the project scope deviates, the deliverables might not be achieved.
To efficiently accomplish the undertaken the project, the project manager has to trace the path of the product design, as it was finalized and given approval by all the key stakeholders involved in the project.
Tracing the development as to ensure that the project has achieved its desired scope at every stage of the project lifecycle.
A proper procedure has to be developed to test the product after execution, and also the project manager has to conduct test scenarios through which, the product has to be correctly tested to produce the required deliverables.
The project manager can’t consider all the requirements to have the same scope, there would exist high-level requirements that garner more scope. So, to satisfy these requirements, the project manager has to allocate more requirements to such components.
Collect Requirements is an essential process because if the requirements from the stakeholders are not collected properly, the scope of the project may risk being faulty. Suitable techniques to collect requirements should be selected and implemented by the project manager to have successful scope management. Every detail is considered important in judging and finalizing the main requirements. So, with all the features/components mentioned in the article, one can collect the requirements to meet the project objectives.