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6 May 2010

Who decides a project’s requirements? Developers?

Development Team: Requirements to code 

Developers are those members of the community who are more inclined as well as responsible for writing and coding individual programmes from specific requirements.

After review they interpret written business requirements and technical specification documents and perform coding.

Developers view the requirements from a technical angle in terms of data dictionary, tables, user interface, reports formats, integration etc. When questions like these are raised during the time of requirement gathering they witness a total disconnect because not at all business users are technically educated. Discussions like these only dilute the interest level of the conversation.

Where requirements are not clear the developers make assumptions. Ambiguity in requirements results in waste of time and developers end up developing a solution, which does not meet up with the customer’s requirements.

Developers at times end up giving more than what is required by the customer in an attempt to please them with “gold plated” functionality. One should deliver only what has been asked for and anything extra that is delivered should be given only with prior customer approval.

Some features required by a customer may have technical limitations and the turn around time required to implement the same may also be quite high. Certain new requirements can detrimentally effect the performance of the existing functionality.

To avoid such cost of re-work a requirements stakeholder should respect the developer’s view of the requirements.  

Nilesh Raje works as Business Analyst with SYSTIME Computer Systems Ltd. based in Mumbai. He also has his articles published earlier with RQNG, International Institute of Business Analysis, ProjectTimes, Business Analyst Times and ManagementNext magazine. He's been a reader here for a while and has proposed this question;

Who decides a project’s requirements?