How Bad Project Requirements Break the Project?
What is the worst thing that can happen to a business project? Time delays? Budget overshoot? Incompetent human resources? Wrong leadership? Yes, these are the various possibilities that can lead to project failure, among many others. However, a key factor contributing to the failure of numerous projects across the world is ‘bad project requirements.’
What are bad project requirements?
Project requirements are bad when:
They are not clear, comprehensive, and complete
They do not define the specific goals that the project intends to achieve
They do not define the requirement of human resources in terms of skills, efforts, and time
They do not define the business processes required to achieve the expected outcomes
Such bad requirements may lead to reworks, delays, high costs, and dissatisfied clients. On the other hand, good project requirements lead to more clarity on what needs to be achieved and how it will be achieved. They define the roles and responsibilities of every person involved in the project, key outcomes expected from the project, and the time and budget available for the project. Specifically, good project requirements make the project less confusing and more results-driven, thereby having higher possibilities of client satisfaction.
You may feel that gathering requirements is an easy task. However, that is not the case. It requires you to understand what questions to ask, whom to ask, and how to synthesize the information from those responses to create a list of requirements. If not done correctly, it may lead to bad project requirements, which may hamper the project completely.
How Bad Project Requirements Affect Your Project and Cause Delays?
Bad quality of project requirements leads to the following effects on the project, which may result in project failure:
You are not able to plan the project properly
The key requirement for the success of any project is a proper plan. If the project plan does not exist or is incomplete, the execution becomes a chaotic process, leading to failure. Therefore, proper planning for the project is essential, which comes from a properly written, detailed list of bad project requirements.
Once the requirements are set, you can make a full-proof plan with details on:
Goals to achieve
Deliverables at the end
Roles and responsibilities of every project person
Metrics to measure performance
It takes a toll on the project scope, resulting in wrong scheduling and budgeting
With incomplete or unclear project requirements, it becomes difficult to document the goals properly. The people involved in the project remain confused about the goals to achieve, deliverables expected by the client, and the overall impact of those deliverables on the client’s business. All this confusion leads to unnecessary, irrelevant work that does not add to the outcome or project movement is multidirectional with no single, definite goal to achieve. This can, in the end, lead to a waste of effort, time, and money.
You forget to make plans for possible risks to the project and solutions for those
Once you mention all the project requirements comprehensively and clearly, you also become aware of how to fulfill those requirements and the various risks that may affect the path of fulfillment. These risks are nothing but the possibility of something going wrong with the key components of a project plan. Something on the lines of escalation of costs, delays in tasks and activities, governance issues, problems in processes and procedures, and occurrence of uncertain events.
Being aware of all these possible risks to your project helps you to be better prepared for facing them. Furthermore, with awareness of possible risks, you gather knowledge about the plans to mitigate or manage those risks, so that project outcomes are not affected negatively. You also identify the trigger points for each risk and make a backup plan in case of serious harm to project execution. Therefore, you must give due importance to mentioning the project requirements in detail to avoid facing these risks.
It becomes difficult to bring all the participants on a common platform
Listing all the project requirements is a parallel process of aligning the thoughts of all participants involved in the project. While listing the project requirements, you talk to every participant, get their views, and comprehend their understanding of the project goals and expectations. In summary, you conduct thorough research to get hold of the thoughts of every participant.
While listing down the requirements, you summarize these thoughts and list down the important ones. In this process, you will be required to discuss with them the priorities of the project and make them agree on the list of requirements. This is how with a good list of project requirements, you can bring all the participants on a common platform of objectives and expectations from the project.
You have to deal with the chaotic communication and relationships
If you do not state the project requirements clearly in detail, it affects the communication between the various teams involved in the project execution. It also affects the relationships between stakeholders, which may, in turn, hamper the project. Thus, avoid the ambiguity in stating project requirements to save the project process from getting confusing and messy.
With clear, comprehensive project requirements, every participant is aware of who is doing what, who will report to whom, and what outcomes the team will generate. In a way, the team dynamics become stronger because of the clear sharing of roles and responsibilities, and hence, communication between project participants improves—better communication results in improved relationships between participants, which affect the project processes positively.
You must be very careful while stating project requirements, as it is an essential ingredient of a successful project. Any vague, incomplete, and loose list of project requirements will affect the project planning, scoping, scheduling, and relationships between stakeholders negatively. Therefore, to avoid project delays and inaccuracies, implement the right solutions for requirements management that can facilitate project execution. You can hire a good professional services firm that can help you deal with requirements management.
Who are Technovisors?
We are a leading provider of IT consulting, data analytics, and digital marketing services. We help our clients with the evaluation of their needs, cost/benefit analysis of possible solutions, smooth implementation of the project, and selection of the right vendor. Our expertise lies in full guidance to you to complete the project successfully without any glitches.