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Requirements gathering: Key to success

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

What must a project manager do before they start any project? At an introductory level, understanding what must be done to make the project successful is crucial. Embarking on a new project or task is a journey that requires a solid foundation. Realizing what one is getting into and understanding the team dynamics by taking the time to completely understand the scope, objectives, and potential challenges, the team obtains priceless insights that open the door for a seamless and effective workflow.

Once agreed upon, the team begins the project. Like every other structure, even a project has a life cycle. But in fact, the conclusion of a project for the internal team is the beginning of a new product, service, or application for the client. For any venture to succeed, information is crucial. Without information or the necessary data, the whole process is impossible to create. That’s where requirement gathering comes into the picture.

Requirements gathering is the process of understanding the project’s outcomes and what to build through visualisation and comprehending the driving force behind a team's design and development to make a project a successful one. Interacting with clients and using their input when creating an initiative or a product is a crucial aspect of the project management process. The process of acquiring, analysing, and documenting project requirements is known as requirements gathering.

For example, if a company is developing a mobile app, the project manager or the team that is collecting the requirements first needs to know what the client does and their vision for the mobile app. Before commencing the requirements-gathering process, the team sets out to understand the complexities of the client's business and their vision for the product that is being developed. Their vision, is because every product serves a general purpose, but what exactly is the client’s vision and what do they wish to upgrade or narrow down towards, as they have chosen to develop a mobile app (in our example)? It is essential to comprehend the client's vision since it reveals their distinct viewpoint and sheds light on the intended audience, ideal user experience, and overall goals they hope to achieve. Monetizing a mobile app is also an important consideration for sustainability. Each requirement that is created should support the achievement of a project objective or goal.

Importance of timelines: Timelines are crucial as they act as benchmarks, ensuring that initiatives stay on course and are completed by the deadline. It aids in aligning clients' efforts, facilitating efficient collaboration, and providing prompt feedback. By ensuring that requirements are acquired within the allotted timeframe, the project can ultimately result in successful outputs.

Non-technical requirements include User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) designs and content. UI/UX design is that phase that creates a face for the software to be developed - what the end user/customer sees. Basically, a UI/UX designer creates a design that is like a skeleton, and the developer adds life to it. UI/UX designs create the base of any project. The content that goes on the website must be well written in parallel to the vision of the client or client company. Just as the designs define and indicate a series of messages, so should the text. Content can bring in more leads, increase conversions, and make users feel at ease. This factor of good user experience contributes to a large extent.

Technical requirements include understanding where the site or app will be hosted, the data presented, migrated, or collected, and other aspects of data types. It is crucial because it is through the product that the data will be used at the end of the development phase. Also, the kind of coding language used, solutions, and scoping become crucial. A product’s understanding from start to finish is important for the developers, and the possibility to mark challenges even before the development phase can be helpful.

User story: User stories assist in concentrating the documentation of the goals of the user. Consider the "Who" It is crucial to understand the various user personas well as the ultimate user. This can be considered the first step of a user story. What requirements/needs do they have, what aspects are being covered, and how will the final product be useful to the end user. The next step is to define the features and functionality together, but distinctly. For example, a submit button is a feature – a tool within a website or app to complete a set of tasks or actions. But how will this submit button work? That is defined by functionality. For instance, a user could enter in detail and click on the submit button that allows the added data to reach the next location. It should be clearly understood what the clients want to see and how they want it to be seen. The value that the user receives after completing the activity must be described in the user story's conclusion. and all the rest of the things that help achieve the overall objective of the product. The user story should be written in a straightforward manner so that it can be altered whenever necessary.

A Business Analyst creates a strategy that works towards a good conclusion by taking the time to carefully understand the Business needs of the project. A vital insight into how clients think and what they require from the services offered can also be obtained through requirements gathering. By making an investment in this procedure, businesses can increase consumer confidence and complete projects on schedule and on budget.

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