Techniques for Gathering Requirements – the basics involved with gathering requirements to help determine the scope of a project.
“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”
– Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
This famous quote by Michael Douglas’ iconic character, Gordon Gekko, from the 1987 movie Wall Street, applies well to project management. Project and product requirements are simply information about what a project team needs to know in order to produce a plan to deliver a project’s deliverables on time, on scope, and on budget, which are the primary elements of a successful project.
There are numerous techniques available to project managers to gather project and product requirements. The key to gathering accurate and complete requirements is knowing which techniques to use for a given project and its stakeholders. The most common methods we employ at GRCC include interviews, observation, demonstrations, focus groups, brainstorming, and prototyping. All of these methods require careful documentation, followed by effective feedback and validation, so the requirements are accurately and completely captured. Some techniques, such as interviewing, work best with one or two people. Others, such as focus groups and workshops, work best with larger groups of stakeholders.
Of course, there are other requirements gathering methods available. In the IT Project Management Office, we research and use the methods that will most likely yield accurate and complete requirements for each project. This is just one more way we work to ensure the success of your IT projects.
Next week we’ll look at project time management.