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23 April 2008

Requirements Management - formal and informal contexts

Good requirements management means your project will run more smoothly and you’ll have a better chance at achieving the business outcomes described in your business case. (If you want further evidence of this read this post.)
So, plan your requirements management activities in advance and you’ll have a smoother journey.

One of the first points to note is that Requirements Management (RM) can be formal or informal, but if you are developing a product or system it is always there. You won’t be the one to pick a formal or informal process, but you are going to have to accommodate both over your career.

It’s likely that no-one will come up to you and say “Hi, I’m Craig, and around here we run pretty informal projects.” So you’ll have to look around to work it out. Here are some things to help you identify the degree of formality you’ll be working in. Consider these things;
  • What is the client organisation’s culture
  • What is the performing organisation’s (project team’s) culture
  • How complex are the stakeholder relations on the project (a good indicator here is number of close/allied stakeholders and external/unallied stakeholders.)
  • How dynamic or stable are the requirements going to be? (eg does the sponsor know what they want?)

Next: RM processes.

Picture by Splorp at Flickr