Culture, Design, Process

Defining and Managing Project Requirements

White Lion — August 26, 2015

One of the toughest challenges we face as a Project Manager is keeping stakeholders actively engaged while gathering and defining requirements. White Lion Core Value #7 “Extreme Attention to Detail” explains this well, “We will create delight in all we do by scrutinizing the tiniest of details while finding inventive ways to have fun along the way.”

Reviewing a large list of requirements can seem daunting to anyone.  Even the creator.  As Project Managers, we know to break large tasks down into more manageable pieces.

The following is a quick “4 Steps to Well Defined Project Requirements” guide that breaks down requirements, thus helping you to create a well-planned project timeline and budget.

#1 Creating A Rough Vision – Communicate, communicate, communicate!

A Project Manager’s first goal is to create a vision. A key to project success is setting up meetings where all stakeholders can discuss requirements, so nothing is left ambiguous. This could take multiple meetings.  Once all stakeholders have a complete grasp on the changes, it’s time to refine your project.

Lookout for: Incomplete or missed requirements, omissions and partial product features.

#2 Polish the idea – Share the vision with everyone and make final adjustments.

Editors are welcome when refining your project requirements. Make sure you share your requirements with all stakeholders and gather questions and edits before you submit your final draft.

Lookout for: Lack of user involvement.

#3 Create a schedule and budget – Client deadlines, planning for risks and scope changes.

From your final project requirements you will be able to create a well-planned timeline; not forgetting to include risk management time for sick days and vacations. Try to avoid scope creep by sticking to your project requirements, and create a Phase 2 list of new project requirements to address after launch.

Lookout for: Unrealistic expectations, the proverbial scope creep, and missed deadlines.

#4 Finished Work Inspections and Delivery – Inspection and delivery.

Before we finish and hand-off an amazing product to our clients, we test all features to ensure everything not only looks great but functions perfectly. The client should also have a chance to test and send their own feedback so we can ensure all stakeholders have tested before we deliver the finished product.

Lookout for: Poor product quality.

Overall, these steps can help define and manage project requirements.  Project Managers here at White Lion are trained to handle almost anything related to requirements and use these techniques every day.

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