System Requirements Gathering

  WHAT

Gathering requirements for a new system is not as straightforward as simply asking the stakeholders what they want. Our System Requirements Gathering model allows you to involve all the relevant stakeholders in the process, discuss the level of necessity of each requirement, and create a specific plan to confirm and ensure that the requirements are clear and validated. This model enables a meaningful and comprehensive requirements elicitation and validation process.

To use our System Requirements Gathering model:

1. Identify the requirements for the new system and tag by category and necessity.
2. Vote for the requirements where you disagree with the level of necessity tag and discuss in the comments.
3. Create a specific action plan to confirm the requirements with stakeholders and provide updates on the status of the requirements.

  WHO

The System Requirements Gathering model is intended for use by project managers, IT managers, and business analysts.

  WHY

70% of project failures can be attributed to requirements gathering (Stieglitz, 2012). Ideally, all lists of requirements would be detailed, clear, and objective. However, in the real world, the practice of validating customer requirements is often skipped and the project team starts with little to nothing, making the likelihood of project failure skyrocket (Powell, 2003). This is made worse when customer requirements are ill-defined or lacking clear deliverables (Powell, 2003).

Requirements gathering needs to be a collaborative process; one that enhances building a consensus among stakeholders and adhering to customer requirements and goals (Powell, 2003), while still aligning with the organization’s vision and strategy (Larson & Larson, 2005). To ensure an effective process, all stakeholders need to be involved and a clear set of actions must be developed and followed through with, to confirm the necessary requirements.

  HOW

Business Requirements

1) NOODLE & TAG: Identify the requirements for the new system and tag by category and level of necessity.

Category: People, Process, Financial, Compliance/Policy, Governance, Infrastructure, Market, Materials, Other

Necessity: Must Have, Should Have, Like to Have

2) VOTE: Flag the requirements where you disagree with the necessity tag and discuss in the comments.

3) ACTION: Create specific actions to confirm the requirements with stakeholders and provide updates on the status of the requirements.

Functional Requirements

1) NOODLE & TAG: Identify the requirements for the new system and tag by category and necessity.

Category: Process, Security, Timing, Reporting, Interface, Data, Inputs, Outputs, Authorization, Other

Necessity: Must Have, Should Have, Like to Have

2) VOTE: Flag the requirements where you disagree with the necessity tag and discuss in the comments.

3) ACTION: Create specific actions to confirm the requirements with stakeholders and provide updates on the status of the requirements.

Technical Requirements

1) NOODLE & TAG: Identify the requirements for the new system and tag by category and necessity.

Category: Availability, Reliability, Performance, Capacity, Accessibility, Security, Documentation, Reporting, Data, Architecture, Interface, Other

Necessity: Must Have, Should Have, Like to Have

2) VOTE: Flag the requirements where you disagree with the necessity tag and discuss in the comments.

3) ACTION: Create specific actions to confirm the requirements with customers and provide updates on the status of the requirements.

  RESULTS

  • A comprehensive, clear and objective list of system requirements

  • Candid discussion with all stakeholders and validation on the necessity of each requirement

  • A specific action plan to ensure conformity and satisfaction with customers’ requests

  BENEFITS & IMPACT

This model will enable:

Quality – Create a comprehensive and clear list of requirements for a system, uniting customers’ needs and desires with the end product.

Efficiency – Enable a focused, objective discussion with stakeholders and clarity throughout the entire requirement gathering process.

Engagement – Involve all relevant stakeholders in the process and ensure everyone’s voice is heard equally.

Agility – A clear, unambiguous process for gathering requirements saves time and frustration, allowing both you and your customer to be satisfied with the process and the end result.

  RELATED MODELS

  REFERENCES

Larson, E. & Larson, R. (2005). Gathering requirements: go away please! Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2005—North America, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Powell, J. W. (2003). Meeting expectations. PM Network, 17(6), 56–60.

Stieglitz, C. (2012). Beginning at the end—requirements gathering lessons from a flowchart junkie. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2012—North America, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.