Requirements are the foundation of effective project delivery; poor practices and results, make it difficult to be successful in your projects or in the marketplace in general.
Let's discuss some the problems that can result from poor requirements practices;
One major issue in requirements practices is that there may be little to no stakeholder to stakeholder communication. For example, one stakeholder will send information and assets but may not have time or desire to discuss thoroughly. Another stakeholder will indicate that his process is the most important and should take priority. If there is no stakeholder to stakeholder discussion, the result is poor alignment of the strategy.
Another result is that the analyst may provide disparate, disjointed and inconsistent data in a variety of different formats that are impossible to understand and organize. This problem results in information overload that leads to ignored information and missing requirements.
Office tools and products have typically been the administrative tools to document our software development processes. They Have become the de-facto standard for defining requirements. As much as the tools work for individual recording functions, connecting and linking them in a meaningful way becomes very challenging and this exacerbates the process. Remember, documents are islands. They don't have version control, no reuse, team access and input may be difficult, just to mention a few issues with traditional office tools.
The result is that when the project continues with fuzzy unclear requirements and Stakeholders are unclear of timelines and expectations. The development team is placed on hold then suddenly placed in fire-drill mode to try and meet project deadlines. This is a project managers nightmare.
It is all about creating a smarter planet through software. Use great team tools to manage your development requirements. Some solutions are: Rational Requirements Composer which is designed to provide a solution for the creation and composition of meaningful requirements, based on user and stakeholder needs. Rational RequisitePro is designed to provide a platform for the management of Requirements assets, the establishment of priorities, the estimation of costs, difficulty, etc.
We'll talk more about this next week in more detail.