Understand your requirements before outsourcing your project; step by step process
Finding requirements for a software project is often overlooked. If you know how important requirements can be in software development, next time you will spend your time efficient at the requirement-gathering meeting. Out of 10 business owners, 4 owes their success to deriving crystal clear requirements. The unknown fact about this task in your project is, it can save up your expense and cut down the disbursements.
One should not take things lightly with stating up the requirements. We can derive requirements only through a group discussion with the IT specialists, business analysts, and the client.
“The journey of a good project becomes a great project when everybody stays on the same page”
One of the top notions that are claimed by the Agile manifesto is, adapting to the change of requirements since it is the core of the agile method. It means responding to the changes by following a plan. It is important to understand what actually a requirement is before we discuss further
Business Analysis Body of Knowledge states requirement is,
- A condition or capability needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or achieve an objective.
- A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a solution or solution component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed documents.
- A documented representation of a condition or capability as in  or .
So, in common terms, the requirement is directly what needs to be implemented to get what we expected. It is an entity of components that should meet the demands kept by the stakeholders.
The requirement is of three stages
How To Identify Your Requirements?
Ideas are the seed of any requirement identification. When you have a great idea, it is nothing without implementation. So here is where the requirements fill the gap between your idea and the execution part. There are many small steps to do to find your requirements.
- Market research – Thorough understanding of your market. Learn about your industry in and out. When you keep a tab on everything that is happening in your industry, you are well prone to the trends, flaws, opportunities and growth hacks. Check the industry pulse of the future. (min of 2-5 decades). Study about the giant brands in the market.
- Competitor Analysis – When you know about your rivalry, you have gained access to the grey areas where the opportunities sit. Studying your competitor should include learning about their user reviews, social branding style, content marketing style, keywords targeted, and leveraging SWOT analysis based upon the collected results. Your competitor weakness can be sometimes your strength. If you narrow your focus, you can turn the adversities into opportunities.
- Niche Market – This one is similar to market research but the point of convergence is the “target audience”. Your audience is the best helpers when you want to know about the requirements. Nobody can tell about your software requirements better than the end users. Use your social listening skills to pay enough attention to what they are talking about brands in your industry. Reading reviews on social media platforms is another pro-tip in taking the requirements from the user point of view.
Performing The Art Of Analysis
The above three could give you a summary of plenty of items you need to be including in your requirement chart. They can vary from business-centric to the end-user point of view. You cannot have all the requirements included in your product or the app you have signed up for. It is crucial to analyze and differentiate the vital ones.
Therefore, the analysis of the requirement should be conducted with the table of experts who could help to flag the important ones. The process is delicate and involves psychological skills.
Conceptually, requirements analysis includes three types of activities
- Eliciting requirements: (e.g. the project charter or definition), business process documentation, and stakeholder interviews. This is sometimes also called requirements gathering or requirements discovery.
- Analyzing requirements: determining whether the stated requirements are clear, complete, consistent and unambiguous, and resolving any apparent conflicts.
- Recording requirements: Requirements may be documented in various forms, usually including a summary list and may include natural-language documents, use cases, user stories, process specifications and a variety of models including data models.
Analysis of requirements can be a tiresome process, but doing your groundwork can pay off with benefits later.
Verification Of Requirements
Verify your requirements by validating them against the business needs. A good requirement sheet will meet all the stated business needs, the user needs, the system needs and future enhancements.
Check if your requirement is,
- Correct – accurately states the customer needs
- Clear – should possess only one possible meaning
- Feasible – can be implemented within known constraints
- Modifiable – can be easily changed, with history, when necessary
- Necessary – documents something customers really need
- Prioritized – ranked as to the importance of inclusion in the product
- Traceable – can be linked to system requirements, and to designs, code, and tests
- Verifiable – correct implementation can be determined by testing, inspection, analysis, or demonstration
The verification process is usually carried out during the testing of the prototype. Software testers match the requirements with the developed prototype to determine the quality of the product. But it is a good practice to do verification and validation of the requirement before the development begins. This way helps your software team to understand what you are trying to accomplish with the software and stay on the course of the flight.
Validating your requirements before the design can save the re-work. It also doesn’t add up your costs on any unnecessary reviews. Validation needs to be a guided process with the document of the defined requirements. Unless the first two processes are carried out well, you cannot validate the requirements easily.
An overall process of the above three is the art of managing your requirements. The ability to, trace, analyze and prioritize the requirements is the effective requirement management. Once the requirements are documented, it is essential to have control over them and communicate it to the stakeholders. The requirement management is a shared activity carried out by the account manager and the business analyst (at some times it is the same person performing both the roles). Communicating the relevant changes in the requirement, analyzing the new changes, validating them and documenting them also proves the advantages of the requirement management process.
There are plenty of tools available to manage the requirements. While choosing the tool to ensure if,
- The requirement management is performed from a centralized location for better collaboration of the team,
- Testing track tools to link the requirements with the test cases
- Flexible enough to change the requirements and use cases as your project rolls on
- There are options to track the history of the changes made and see a customized summary report.
- Online approval is also a part of the management process
The article should have convinced you that requirements are like an ideal daughter-in-law who keeps the family life perfectly balanced. Your requirements will determine the scope of your project. A requirement should be comprehensible to all the interested parties—user, business, product developer and also free from all the ambiguities—all the stakeholders should understand the requirement in the same way.
But don’t worry if you do not have documented requirements. If you have a cool idea and a definite goal our team will definitely help you identify the requirements and write all the needed documentation.