7 key components of a professional-level Requirements Management Plan to realize the project outcomes
7 key components of a Requirements Management Plan to realize the project outcomes
For any project, you need to define the requirements in a clear and concise way. You have to manage the requirements well to ensure the project runs successfully. The promise of defining, analyzing, and managing requirements can be fulfilled by a requirements management plan (RMP).
In this blog, we will understand what a requirements management plan is. We will look at the key components of a requirements management plan. This will help you easily sail through any project execution with maximum goals achievement.
What is a requirements management plan (RMP)?
A requirements management plan describes the ‘how’ of requirements management. It means a document describing the requirements of a project and what purpose they solve. The document also contains an assessment of the requirements followed by prioritization to track their achievement.
Thus, a requirements management plan is a document comprising the strategy for documentation, analysis, and management of requirements. This document serves as the base for defining the project scope. Include the requirements management plan during the strategic planning process to ensure to achieve the expected outcomes.
Usually, project managers create such a plan in consultation with the stakeholders of the project. They include the name of each requirement, a small explanation of it, and a way to achieve it. With the requirements management plan in place, your project execution follows a well-defined direction.
Let Technovisors help you with the requirements management plan
How is a requirements management plan different from a scope management plan?
Requirements are a subset of the scope. A requirement is one capability or feature present in a service or product. On the other hand, scope is the entire list of activities that you need to perform to complete the project.
In a scope management plan, you document the definition, development methodology, monitoring process, and verification of scope. Scope management plan identifies the stakeholders and describes the development and approval of the work breakdown structure. It also mentions the ways to deal with change requests during the project execution.
A requirements management plan is a part of the scope management process. In this plan, you document the process of collecting, analyzing, and managing all business and stakeholder requirements. In this plan, you find answers to the process of discovering each requirement, defining prioritizing criteria, changing them, and developing them.
Components of the requirements management plan
Section 1 focuses on introducing the project to the readers. You must give a brief description of the objectives of the project and its scope. With this knowledge, stakeholders would be better able to contribute to gathering requirements.
This section also explains the purpose of this plan and what it will constitute. The next sections focus on requirements management. Herein, we identify the stakeholders, their requirements, assess these requirements, and manage them.
List of all stakeholders and their relevant roles and responsibilities
The plan must list all the stakeholders for the project. Stakeholders include:
- Project manager
- Leaders and sponsors
- Business analysts
- Subject matter experts
Now, identify the role and responsibility of each stakeholder. You must know who will contribute in what form to the project. This knowledge will facilitate a better collaboration to enhance the management of requirements.
For example, leaders are the sponsors and approvers of the project. The project manager will manage the requirements and monitor project execution. Business analysts will coordinate the collection and analysis of requirements. Business analysts, in coordination with the project manager, will create RMP.
Subject matter experts and end-users will contribute to the identification of requirements. Designer designs system, developer develops it, while tester verifies it. There can be a change manager who handles the changes in business due to requirements.
Requirements management procedure
You must describe each step of the requirements management process. It includes steps for eliciting, analysis, documentation, and management of requirements. This will encourage every stakeholder to contribute to the process whenever they can. The steps of requirements management include:
We have already identified the stakeholders and listed them. We have also listed the roles and responsibilities of each.
In this step, you must interact with each stakeholder to identify the requirements. You can have one-to-one meetings, surveys, or brainstorming sessions to gather requirements.
Now, you need to assess these requirements for quality, completeness, and accuracy. You must also check whether any of the requirements conflict with each other.
Now, you can document each of the requirements for reference purposes. This will help you during the project execution to compare with the outcomes.
Verify and validate requirements
Now, verify and validate the requirements to remove any possibility of rework during project execution. You must also get them approved by the management.
Now, communicate these requirements to all the relevant people who will work on the project. They must understand each requirement so that there is no confusion later on.
You need to monitor the project execution closely to track the achievement of each requirement. This helps you to identify when the project is not moving in the right direction.
Manage changes to requirements
Some changes might come up in a few requirements. You must be ready to make these changes to result in a quality product.
Meet the requirements and report them
The last step in the requirements management process is to achieve these requirements in the system or software you developed. Try to achieve each one of them and report the compliance to your project sponsors and leaders.
More details on requirements
You must provide more details on each requirement. You must provide two angles to it: business focus and technical focus as well as divide them into functional and non-functional requirements. For business focus, you will define the stakeholder’s view. For technical focus, you will describe the solution features that contribute to the business result as defined by the technical team.
You must classify each requirement with a different name, identifier, description, type, and owner. The description helps every team member to understand the requirement in detail. You can describe these requirements in images or chart format. The description must be such that it is understandable to both the business heads and technical people.
By mentioning the owner’s name, if there is confusion or doubt with a requirement, you can go back to the owner for clarity. You also need to show its priority, change history, and version number to reflect past changes. By mentioning the priority, the team knows what to focus on first. Change history and version number allow you to refer to them so that you do not make duplication of effort.
Also, mention the requirement status to identify the reason for delays or faster execution. The status information allows you to find out if a requirement has been approved or not, delayed, or removed. You must also describe the relevant activity to achieve that requirement.
You must create a requirements traceability matrix for detailed understanding. Herein, each business requirement is traced through a solution feature/functionality. Then you can trace it through test cases and scenarios. Thus, you create a granularity of each requirement to understand it better.
This person provides a critical and skeptical angle to the discussion. Such a person focuses on identifying the weaknesses and risks of the project at hand. He/she tries to identify the things that can go wrong with the project or a decision.
Requirements baseline means a basis for comparing requirements over a specified time. You must define the baseline in terms of a few factors such as creation, number, description, and publishing. Based on this baseline, you collect the requirements or changes in them in a batch and then pass it on for the next step.
Baseline is also tied to milestones of a project to track the project execution. You can make a formal baseline that requires approval on requirements by all. Or, you can make an informal baseline that requires agreement between the project team members on the achievement of requirements.
A communications strategy is essential o communicate changes in requirements. You must define the communication medium to be used and the people who will manage it. The aim is to ensure that smooth communication happens that facilitates the fulfillment of requirements.
In the case of Waterfall projects, requirements do not change much. In the case of Agile projects, you need to plan for frequent changes in requirements. If your project is Agile and complex with too many stakeholders, define a robust communications strategy.
Requirements management tools
One of the key components that you must not miss in an RMP is requirements management tools. Tools are necessary to make your requirements management successful and in alignment with your project goals. Tools help you to:
- Manage requirements collection, analysis, and documentation
- Manage changes in the business due to changes in requirements
- Tracking the attributes of each requirement
- Linking each requirement with a system feature or functionality
- Tracking the status of each requirement during project execution
- Ensuring smooth communication between stakeholders
These are the important components of an effective requirements management plan. Ensure to include all of them and follow the process to create a robust RMP. Once you complete preparing the RMP, share it with the stakeholders.
You must get feedback from them on each requirement and clarify their doubts. Once all the requirements are looked into, make necessary changes and get approval. You can use a template to prepare the requirements management plan.
If you are finding it difficult to manage it internally, get a professional firm to manage it for you. Technovisors is one such professional IT consulting firm in Ahmedabad. We can help you with managing any part of IT projects to achieve the desired outcomes.
We are a leading IT consulting, digital marketing, and data analytics firm in Ahmedabad. We have been helping businesses in different industries with their IT infrastructure. Our expert team of IT professionals, advisors, and industry consultants helps you resolve your business challenges.
We help you prepare an effective requirements management plan:
- By carefully understanding the project scope to avoid missing any requirements
- By coordinating with the internal project team to ensure their commitment
- By identifying the right stakeholders of the project
- By creating smooth communication and collaboration channels to ensure no barriers exist in project execution
- By including specific and measurable success metrics to track your team’s performance and project success
That takes your project success to new heights
A requirement is considered ‘good’ if it has the following attributes:
A requirements management plan helps you to:
- Plan projects
- Fulfill stakeholder requirements
- Guide project teams during project execution
- Ensure quality output
- Finish project on time
- Reduce risks of uncertainty
- Lower the possibility of errors
About the Author
(CISA, FCA, CS, DISA (ICAI), FAFP (ICAI))
Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.