Bad, unclear, or missing requirements can extend the length of a project or be decision factors that could terminate a project altogether. The details in requirements play a large part in a project’s delivery, budget and/or time.
There are many different requirements that are gathered throughout a project. A few key types of requirements include:
- Business – high-level statement describing what is required, from a business or stakeholder perspective. These state what is required, not how they will be implemented. Business requirements are generic business goals of the stakeholders.
- Functional – any requirement that specifies what the system should do. This type of requirement describes the functions a software must perform, including its inputs, its behavior, and its outputs.
- Non-functional – any type of requirement that specifies how the system should perform a function. This type of requirement details how a system should behave and to what limits. Non-functional requirements represent a set of standards used to measure the specific operations of a system.
- Transition – requirements that describe the transition from the current state to the expected future state. These requirements are temporary and will not be needed once the transition is complete.
No matter what type of requirement is used, all requirements should contain the same characteristics for a project to be successful. A few characteristics of successful requirements include:
- Complete – the requirement should contain all the necessary information for a user to fully understand what is desired. It’s important to ensure the requirement is not missing necessary or relevant information.
- Accurate – the requirement must accurately describe the functionality to be built. It must meet a business or system need. An accurate requirement should not conflict with another requirement.
- Testable – the requirement should be able to be verified through a testing process.
- Explicit – the requirement should allow a reader to arrive at a single, consistent interpretation of what is desired.
- Prioritized – the requirement should be prioritized by importance from the stakeholder(s).
Whether requirements are documented for a quick or lengthy task, a bad requirement can be one of the top reasons a project fails. If requirements do not meet the full list of characteristics, potential exists for the project to lose revenue, profitability and time. Lastly, if your organization needs assistance with any project requirement strategies or best practices, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you get started.
Business Analyst/Project Manager
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