Requirements Planning : How to plan for good Requirements?

Planning good requirements brings clarity, accessibility, and accuracy to the project. Attach precision to bring focus to make the outcome measurable. Requirement strategy and plan contains the user expectations, guidelines, and milestones.

Requirements planning involve activities such as gathering the pieces of required functionalities and features, documenting them, charting the actions, defining measurable, defining approach for testing and maps for traceability.

Good requirements planning answers to what, how, when, who and where needs to get into the project and perform.  Include notes on background and technical information about the project, what all can the developers and testers expect from the guide and a chart that helps understand the requirement document.

Tactical requirements planning is extracting sub-requirements from high-level requirements, it contains specifications that leads towards executing usable final product.

Common Mistakes in Requirements Planning:

  • Failure in the allocation of  right resources and skills
  • Documenting changes and communicating with team
  • Unanticipated problems
  • Unnecessary complexities due to mismanagement
  • Lapsed commitment towards stakeholders
  • Missing Standard Procedures
  • Ownership issues
  • Uncalculated risks
  • Unprofessional approach
  • Missing restructuring of the plan

How to plan for good Requirements? Is it tough?

Requirements Planning

Well requirements planning may be tough but not impossible at all.

Zero conflict Requirements Planning:

Gathering Requirements: Perspective of requirements is to consider everything from business objective and its stakeholders, software users, to its ultimate usage. It is the study of existing systems, flaws versus uprightness, current procedures, maintainable procedures and defining the needs precisely.

  • Eliciting Approach:  List the questionable, which help requirements planning
  • Why should we work on this project
  • Can it be postponed or is it the right time
  • Are there any technical difficulties
  • What are the probable benefits for the organization and employees
  • Efforts involved versus investments and returns.
  • Skill set required and does it exist or we need new resources
  • Expectations from new software and can they be met
  • Whether or not important users will up vote this change
  • What about the costs involved
  • Software adaptability to new technology and its shortcomings
  • Current software trends and capability of business to adapt change
  • Are the milestones set
  • How will you stick to the schedule

Types of Requirements: Securing the interest and finding the significance of the requirement and its impact.

Business Requirements: Requirements planning for every business is a unique experience. The dependencies and expected behavior of the software, definite processes, and explicit actions related to it.

User Requirements: If the users have some software what is that they want to change or keep unchanged, are they utilizing all the functions which you have listed as requirements, the consistency in using the features of  previously existing in the system that you are about to recreate and finally strength of members who use particular and peculiar features.

System Requirements: It should list the following for requirements planning.

  • Design of system and sub-system
  • Operating system and computer architecture
  • Processing power
  • Memory
  •  Storage
  • System health
  • Stability
  • Key performance issues
  • System abilities
  • Peripherals
  • APIs and drivers
  • Hardware and software purchase or updates
  • Parameters for hierarchy rights and controls

Functional Requirements: It is a description of services, which software must offer to meet the documented functionalities. It can be explicit behavior of the system for what it is developed, to be precise how it should operate under specific condition. Functional specifications consists details of operations, logic handling by system, data manipulation, data processing, performance of tasks, required user interaction with the application and allows you to check whether the application is fulfilling all the requirements. It is mandatory to create functional requirements, best e.g., transactional level, report generation, authorization levels, and audit tracking. Type of testing for functional requirements are Systems Integration, API testing, logic related issues, etc.

Non-Functional Requirements: They are hard to capture and are not mandatory but help you to verify the performance of the software. The focus is on user expectations than the requirements. It describes the general characteristics of a system. For testing, the criteria are performance, stress, security, and usability.

Change Management: Requirements planning must have an organized document that lets you track the stages of requirements fulfilled. The development, testing, implementation, and user satisfaction can needs comparatives with ratings. The ready-to-use templates, formats and components of the defined necessities of a project are included in requirements traceability matrix (RTM). The indexing and numbering of against the requirements help in planning and checking the status. It makes monitoring simpler with the logs that crosscheck the status as of now and the next stage of the system. The stakeholders and developers both have transparency and clarity. With the development of the software and its shaping, you can view and verify the growth and its direction. It adds the scope of rectification prior to the final release and during the testing stage.

Migration to New System: Requirements planning cannot be complete without covering the transition details. The time required to shift from old to new system, prerequisites of transition, the current state of system, roles of contributors in the process of migration, skill gaps, data conversion, data transfer, and assessment of the solution.

Cease Requirements: Once the parties agree on the requirements, they should sign the document and define the deliverables. Signing the document increases the sense of responsibility and the agreed workflow helps in case of deviation. Expected delivery includes the features, minimum acceptable workability, release dates and names; dependencies, performance acceptance, user acceptance, and final delivery to the client etc. decide all and everything. Mention how to deal with the things that arise out of scope.

  • Design Testing: The testing requirements planning holds an important position. The design of a product needs to be attractive, user-friendly, productive, result-oriented and maintain the secrecy of background processing.
  • Quality Assurance: Uncompromised quality is a sign of a good requirement planning and conversion to reality. Quality issues can cost you and make everyone rework.  Low work quality affects productivity, hinders the development process, delays the testing and releases. Customer satisfaction and prior to that work satisfaction hamper when the team efforts go in vain. The document can have a set of expectations about the attitude towards the quality maintenance.

The requirement document is your canvas; paint it as you wish.  Fill it with goals, examples, conditions, exceptions, test cases, business cases, stories, prototypes, diagrams, models, contact points, completion criteria, product vision and everything that can help develop a sustainable system. Interlinking of the requirements and interlocking for connectivity elevates the performance of the system.

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