Make your requirements management planning meetings all-inclusive and productive
Make your requirements management planning meetings all-inclusive and productive
We all know requirements management is a necessary activity for the successful execution of a project. The project may relate to the development of a product, service, or software. All it needs is requirements and all you need to do is manage these requirements well to ensure expected outcomes.
A customer accepts a product or service if it satisfies the requirements stated by him/her. So, before providing the product or service to customers, you need to align the outcomes with requirements. This requires you to manage the requirements during project execution to guarantee their achievement.
To do this, you need to prepare an effective requirements management plan. And, for preparing this plan, you need to conduct meetings with your team members and stakeholders. These meetings must be conclusive so that you have the plan ready with you to start working on the project.
So, focus on having interactive meetings to know everyone’s point of view. Follow the agenda and make it productive for the project on hand. Be prepared, as it is the door to the beginning of a successful project.
What is the need for a requirements management planning meeting?
Such meetings aim to make a requirements management plan and get approval on it. The meeting helps you to get answers to your questions on the impending project. In the meeting, you will try to discuss and find answers to:
- What are the goals of this project?
- What will be the final deliverables?
- How are we going to achieve it?
- Who will do what activity and task?
- What are the metrics to measure each task?
- How communication and collaboration will happen?
But, the meeting does not end with only a discussion on these topics. In the end, you must have a document enumerating the discussions and a rough plan. The rough plan must have some points on the answer to each question.
It might contain more questions that arose during the discussions and that need more clarity. Whatever the case is, at least the present members must agree to the document prepared. Post-meeting, there will be feedback on this document, which will ultimately lead to the final plan.
Thus, a requirements management planning meeting is crucial to facilitate a high-quality requirements elicitation process. And, this leads to lesser confusion later in the project, which saves time, effort, and money. Thus, incorporate the global best practices to make your requirements management planning meeting valuable.
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6 roles in a requirements management planning meeting
According to the concept of Six Thinking Hats, there are six important roles in a meeting. Six Thinking Hats is a technique describing six different perspectives or thinking styles in a discussion. It describes these approaches used when a meeting happens between a group of people with different personalities.
It is good to have such six different thinking hats in a meeting to ensure a complete view. It helps the members of a meeting to look at different angles and solve problems. You apply all six perspectives to a problem to get to its root.
Thus, with different viewpoints, you try to create more insights and uncover solutions. A person wearing one colored hat provides a different angle to the discussion from another hatted person. These six roles make the meeting fruitful and drive the group to a conclusion.
The six hats are:
The Blue Hat (manages)
This person is in charge of controlling and managing the meeting. This person decides the people who will be wearing the other five hats. Such a person looks at the big picture and provides a structured thought process to the situation on hand.
The White Hat (provides information)
This person provides hard facts in the meeting in the form of records and presents collected data. Thus, the focus is to think objectively and analytically and take decisions.
The Yellow Hat (brings optimism)
This person is an optimist thinker. He/she thinks generally about the best-case scenarios and optimistic aspects of the project. The person believes in looking at the strengths of the project and the benefits of its execution.
The Black Hat (identifies risks)
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.
The Red Hat (considers feelings)
This person expresses whatever he/she wants to without any reasons behind it. The red-hatted person gives his/her opinions, perspectives, and thoughts about the project in a straightforward way. His/her views are based on intuitive feelings regarding the project.
The Green Hat (thinks innovative)
This person is a creative person and an out-of-box thinker. Such a person inspires and motivates people to do something creative and find an innovative solution. Such people give new ideas, build upon ideas given by others, develop associations, and thus, lead to new solutions.
How to conduct requirements management planning meetings using the Six Thinking Hats technique?
The Blue hatted person organizes a meeting and invites the relevant members for project discussion. He facilitates the discussion and interaction on project requirements during the meeting. He is responsible to keep the meeting organized, allowing everyone to speak, and considering all points of view.
The White hatted individual presents the existing information and data on project requirements. Before the meeting, he collects requirements from customers. He does not provide an opinion on these requirements, just plain facts.
Now, all other hats work in parallel with the following responsibilities:
The Yellow hatted person assesses the positive aspects. He tries to find out the benefits of the project to end-users and customers.
The Black hatted person assesses the negative aspects. He finds out all the possible challenges that may hamper the project execution. This helps in preparing for obstacles beforehand.
The Green hatted throws innovative ideas. He tries to find out the different ways of approaching the problem.
The Red hat considers the intuitive and emotive side of requirements. He considers the feelings of end-users or customers regarding the project. He focuses on understanding employees’ feelings regarding the project.
So, all the viewpoints and angles have been shared and discussed. Now, the Blue hatted person provides a summary of the requirements management plan. All of them agree, come to a conclusion, and make a decision.
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What are the possible problems that can occur in requirements management planning meetings?
Poor matching of persons with hats
The problems arise when the identification of individuals for mentioned responsibility is wrong. Or, if they are unable to provide the expertise that was expected of them. You do not get the 360-degree view and hence the problem of missing requirements arises.
If a specific skill and expertise are not available in the project, it may suffer. Identifying every angle of requirements is important to develop an effective plan. So, employ the right people for every required skill and deliver on the expectations.
Lack of communication
Meetings for requirements management planning require the expression of viewpoints from everyone. Only then, you can understand each perspective and discuss it among team members. Such discussions and negotiations lead to the final plan.
But, if the communication between members is lacking, then it will not generate the expected results. Because if things are not expressed, people start making assumptions. And, assumptions without proper backup leads to unexpected outcomes.
Also, you may not be able to consider every aspect of the requirements. This will lead to problems in the latter part of project execution, causing delays. Thus, keep the communication alive in meetings to result in a fine list of requirements.
Not arriving at a decision
Sometimes meetings lead to nowhere. Members keep on presenting their views, discussing, and negotiating. But, they are not ready to understand others’ points of view and come to an agreement.
The manager can prepare the agenda of the meeting and make it clear to everyone that a decision is essential at the end of the meeting. This makes everyone accountable. This will lead to focused discussions and trials to reach a conclusion.
With this concept, you can provide different angles to your project and its requirements. Every person with a different hat can think through things and organize their thoughts in a better way. This improves interaction and allows every present member to look at things from all possible perspectives.
Thus, your meetings are better structured with the application of the Six Thinking Hats technique. It is a rational process of considering different points of view and then making decisions. You consider an all-inclusive outlook of the project, thereby leading to a cautious decision.
Just remember to avoid these potential mistakes. Also, organize the meeting as described in the procedural steps. Now, no one can stop you from developing an effective requirements management plan.
Let us – Technovisors – help you with your requirements management planning. We can help you prepare a plan that is sturdy, effective, and easier for everyone to understand and implement. We make a plan that helps you achieve the requirements within the business rules.
We help you:
- Collect and collate requirements from all possible stakeholders
- Manage all requirements during the design and development phase
- Get perspectives from every business function for an all-inclusive outcome
- Keep every stakeholder in sync with each other and with organizational objectives
- Identify the dependencies and interactions between requirements to manage change
- Achieve the mentioned requirements in the form of features and functionalities before time
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.