Build a Strong Approach to Business Requirements Gathering

Poor requirements are the number one reason that projects fail – take a strategic approach to optimizing requirements gathering in order to give the business what it needs.

Onsite Workshop

A poor requirements process results in:

  • Rework due to poor requirements leading to costly overruns.
  • Final deliverables that are of poor quality.
  • Final deliverables being implemented late.
  • Predicted gains from deployed applications not being realized.
  • Low feature utilization rates by end users.
  • High levels of end-user dissatisfaction.
  • High levels of project sponsor dissatisfaction.
  • Breaches in regulatory requirements.
  • Incompatibilities with legacy systems.
  • Frustrated teams within IT and the business.

Developing a strong set of standard operating procedures for requirements gathering translates to:

  • Reduced project rework.
  • Better alignment of project deliverables to underlying stakeholder needs.
  • Reduced cycle times for projects.
  • Reduced stakeholder frustration with project outcomes.
  • Strong return on investment for deployed functionality.
  • Greater alignment between IT and business teams.

Module 1: Define the Current State and Target State for Requirements Gathering

The Purpose

  • Create a clear understanding of the target needs for the requirements gathering process.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A comprehensive review of the current state for requirements gathering across people, processes, and technology.
  • Identification of major challenges (and opportunity areas) that should be improved via the requirements gathering optimization project.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Understand current state and document existing requirement process steps.
  • Requirements Gathering Maturity Assessment
1.2 Identify stakeholder, process, outcome, and training challenges.
1.3 Conduct target state analysis.
  • Project Level Selection Tool
1.4 Establish requirements gathering metrics.
1.5 Identify project levels 1/2/3/4.
1.6 Match control points to project levels 1/2/3/4.
1.7 Conduct project scoping and identify stakeholders.
  • Requirements Gathering Documentation Tool

Module 2: Define the Elicitation Process

The Purpose

  • Create best practices for conducting and structuring elicitation of business requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A repeatable framework for initial elicitation of requirements.
  • Prescribed, project-specific elicitation techniques.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Understand elicitation techniques and which ones to use.
  • Project Elicitation Schedule
2.2 Document and confirm elicitation techniques.
2.3 Create a requirements gathering elicitation plan for your project.
2.4 Build the operating model for your project.
  • Project Operating Model
2.5 Define SIPOC-MC for your selected project.
  • Project SIPOC-MC Sub-Processes
2.6 Practice using interviews with business stakeholders to build use case models.
  • Project Use Cases
2.7 Practice using table-top testing with business stakeholders to build use case models.

Module 3: Analyze and Validate Requirements

The Purpose

  • Build a standardized framework for analysis and validation of business requirements.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Policies for requirements categorization, prioritization, and validation.
  • Improved project value as a result of better prioritization using the MOSCOW model.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Categorize gathered requirements for use.
  • Requirements Gathering Documentation Tool
3.2 Consolidate similar requirements and eliminate redundancies.
3.3 Practice prioritizing requirements.
3.4 Build the business process model for the project.
3.5 Rightsize the requirements documentation template.
  • Requirements Gathering Testing Checklist
3.6 Present the business requirements document to business stakeholders.
3.7 Identify testing opportunities.

Module 4: Establish Change Control Processes

The Purpose

  • Create formalized change control processes for requirements gathering.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Reduced interjections and rework – strengthened formal evaluation and control of change requests to project requirements.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Review existing CR process.
  • Requirements Traceability Matrix
4.2 Review change control process best practices and optimization opportunities.
4.3 Build guidelines for escalating changes.
  • Requirements Gathering Communication Tracking Template
4.4 Confirm your requirements gathering process for project levels 1/2/3/4.

Module 5: Establish Ongoing Governance for Requirements Gathering

The Purpose

  • Establish governance structures and ongoing oversight for business requirements gathering.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Consistent governance and oversight of the requirements gathering process, resulting in fewer “wild west” scenarios.
  • Better repeatability for the new requirements gathering process, resulting in less wasted time and effort at the outset of projects.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Define RACI for the requirements gathering process.
  • Requirements Gathering Action Plan
5.2 Define the requirements gathering steering committee purpose.
5.3 Define RACI for requirements gathering steering committee.
5.4 Define the agenda and cadence for the requirements gathering steering committee.
5.5 Identify and analyze stakeholders for communication plan.
5.6 Create communication management plan.
5.7 Build the action plan.

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