19 April 2011

The Requirements Discovery Project

Requirements discovery, and resulting documents and communications activities can be defined as specific projects.  Should they be?  Possibly.  I have been thinking about this topic for years now.

Corporate projects, with a discreet discovery activity and deliverable should probably call out the requirements discovery work as it's own project.  Combining it with the solution delivery component becomes a programme.

I am just making a note for myself now, but this concept lines up with a lot of industry leading thinkers of the last few decades.  And it fits perfectly as a mental model for managing the contextual dependency for requirements discovery up front or parrallel to solution development.

Thoughts?  Should I elaborate further?


  1. i say go for it. my first project, 10 years ago, started out with a discovery phase before moving on to specific implementation phases. it worked out quite well. the large program that is currently getting started at my company is doing this as well.

  2. I think it's more than a phase - it should be an independent project. It's own stakeholders, budget, schedule and so on.

    And especially it's own terms of reference and acceptance criteria.

    The idea is to clearly link the cost and effort to the result.

    (This isn't to say that an analyst or requirements person doesn't need to be on the solution project as well)

  3. Dave

    By project I mean a distinct activity to produce a unique artefact with a start and end date, and usually not repeated.

    The artefact is the knowledge that is created through the discovery activity.

    Granted in many instances this can be operational - and in those instances the requirements phase of a project may not be very worthwhile either.

    The core of my idea here is that if it's worth doing then do it properly, and understand the cost. It might just change the way businesses operate.

  4. sorry, should have clarified... its a phase in the program. it has its own budget, schedule, etc, but its still part of a larger overall effort. just difference in terms. :)

  5. weird, my previous comment is not showing.


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