Importance of Discovery or Requirement Analysis Phase
Though the requirements gathering or the discovery phase is an essential phase in any SDLC cycle, it is more often than not overlooked with not enough ground work done. Many experienced project managers would agree that if the requirements are identified correctly and early in the project cycle, that alone would result in reducing your project scheduled budget. The detail and the extent of correctness of the requirements has a large role to play in the overall success of the project.
Unfortunately this importance is often overlooked due to our anxiety to save time. One cannot stress enough on the cost of this blunder. If the requirements capture is not done accurately it might lead to the project deliverables not meeting the business user or technology requirements. Reworking on the project and fixing the errors would add on both to the project cost and time unnecessarily.
Best practices for requirement analysis
- Problem identification, definition and capture: The requirement analyst should identify the problem along with the business users and define it accurately. The requirement definition should be able to provide information on:
- The problems the solution is aimed to solve
- The benefits expected from the solution
- The feasibility of the requirements
- High Level Description of solution: The solution planned to be developed should be described at a high level along with the business needs it caters to.
- Address the needs of all the stakeholders and the users: This is a very important part of the requirement analysis and a step which needs to be meticulously followed before freezing the requirements. This would help in the deployment phase of the project too, by getting the users adaptable to the new process or application.
- Solution definition: The solution’s dos and dont’s both should be captured in detail. This would help in clearing up any ambiguity whatsoever.
- Feature definition: The application’s planned features need to be captured at length. The functional and non-functional requirements need to be captured in detail along with the details on how the project is going to be executed etc.
The documentation should capture the processes, workflow, dependencies, hierarchies and so on. Documenting all the above mentioned categories by following the documentation best practices would help in realizing detailed and correct requirement analysis deliverables increasing the probability of project success.
Following these best practices would not only result in reducing project costs but can also help in shortening the development cycle, reducing scope for needs mismatch, enhance team productivity and most importantly increase the application’s usability.