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What’s the Value of Business Requirements?

Documented business requirements provide a structured blueprint that can explicitly dictate the parameters of the project. In a post for Project Management Insight, Karen Munro elaborates on how it is only through the documented business requirements that the scope can truly be defined, and thus useful.

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She begins with an analogy about a box. Hypothetically, say that someone asks you to build a box, and that was the end of the direction. You worked diligently and built a box that you were proud of, but it turned out to not be at all what the person wanted or needed. Perhaps the box was too big or did not accommodate special features. If the requirements were defined from the beginning, the entire situation could have been avoided.

It is only through communication with the users that every business requirement can be document and fulfilled. Munro suggests utilizing a table to fully capture and articulate each item, and to also keep in mind that “this is not about solutions[;] it’s fully about needs.” Business requirements should focus on the need, not the “how.”

Sometimes, a customer may desire something that is far more than what you can deliver. Maybe the request is above your expertise, or maybe it simply costs too much. This is where prioritization of requirements and communication can come into play. Fully understanding what the user wants versus what they really need helps to decide which business requirements are mandatory and which can be saved for the future. Differentiating between the wants and the must-haves will ensure that you can deliver what the user needs.

While gathering the information about the business requirements, it is additionally important to acquire items such as delivery time or the importance of traceability and tracking. These non-functional items are often areas that the business wants but forgets to ask about.

You can read the original article here:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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