Why Reviewing Requirements is essential for the successful execution of the project

Introduction

Project requirements define the process of accomplishing the project objectives. These are the small tasks and activities that lead to the final deliverable of the project. Project requirements need to be clear, concise, easily understandable, and consistent.

Such project requirements lead to the successful run of the project. With successful execution, you can expect achievement of the desired outcomes. So, listing and reviewing requirements are necessary for project success.

Some of the project requirements include:

Start date and end date

Budget

Scope

Resources required and available

People involved, and their roles and responsibilities

Expected challenges

Final deliverables

Writing project requirements is an important but tiresome task. If not done correctly, it may lead to faulty project outcomes. So, you must be careful while writing the project requirements. Even if written correctly, reviewing requirements is essential to ensure quality.

Requirements review is a process of evaluation of the Requirements document in detail. The key stakeholders of the project are involved in the review process. In this process, the stakeholders detect any errors or unclear statements. So, they can identify the points that require more clarity and rectification.

Let us have a detailed understanding of requirements review in this blog.

Why Is Reviewing Requirements is essential for the successful execution?

A well-written requirements document is essential to start the project. It serves as the path for the project to run. It gives a clear view to all the stakeholders about the course of the project. So, the requirements document must be complete, concise, and clear.

Requirements review is important because of the following reasons:

Confirms the requirements

By reviewing requirements, you can ensure that there are no errors or omissions. The requirements review process ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page. It is a way to confirm the requirements before starting the project.

Aligns project expectations

Reviewing requirements ensures that all stakeholders are aware of the document’s contents. They understand the project requirements and are confident about them. So, reviewing requirements is essential to ensure aligned expectations from the project.

Potential to discover new requirements

Reviewing requirements brings new views and opinions of people. Debate and discussion on each requirement can lead to a fresh perspective of the project. You might discover some new requirements, which were not thought of earlier.

Makes the team ready for execution

Requirements review leads to its improvement, which helps the project execution. It also ensures a smooth collaborative environment for the project team. Reviewing requirements reminds the project team about the goals to achieve. With this, the project team is ready for the hustle.

Who is responsible for reviewing requirements?

All the stakeholders involved in the project must be present for reviewing requirements. The author of the requirements document must hold a requirements review meeting. This meeting must have all the people related to the project.

The presence of the author of the requirements document is crucial. The relevant people from project team, marketing, supply chain, and senior management must be present. Representatives of clients and user groups must also be involved in reviewing requirements.

What are the benefits of a Requirements Review Meeting?

Organizing a requirements review meeting leads to the following benefits:

All the stakeholders can become aware of all the people important for the project. They get more information on who is responsible for what activity.

Stakeholders get a better understanding of the project requirements. They align with the project scope in a better way due to the meeting.

Stakeholders get an idea of the implications of each requirement on the outcome. They are able to associate each requirement’s importance to the project result

With discussions, it becomes easier to come across some new requirements. It also facilitates better comprehension of confusing or inaccurate requirements

The brainstorming and knowledge transfer lead to a single, unified view of requirements. Stakeholders get an understanding of not only their function but also the entire project.

What are the ways of conducting requirements review meetings?

The different ways of conducting the process of reviewing requirements are:

Formal or informal

In a formal process, participants go through each requirement one-by-one. Each requirement is assessed along with its implications for the project.

The informal review is not conducted in-depth. Only the key concerns and doubts are discussed.

Broad or focused

In focused review, stakeholders receive only their concerned function’s part of the document. The focused review helps in reviewing large documents.

In broad review, every participant assesses the entire document. It lets the participants imagine the bigger picture and understand the project scope better.

Online or offline

Face-to-face meetings are generally preferable if all stakeholders are in the same location. If not, then online meetings are always an option. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought everything and everyone online.

Bridging the gap between your requirements and project success

What are the key steps in the process of reviewing requirements?

The key steps in the process of reviewing requirements are:

Define the reviewers

List all the business functions relevant to the project. Then find out the best person to represent each function. Also, find out the other stakeholders from the client-side or user groups.

Identify who all are mandatory for the review meeting. Identify the stakeholders who can be optional participants. By ensuring a wide representation, you can get several viewpoints without missing any.

Schedule the review meeting

Now, decide a time and place for the review meeting. Get every reviewer’s agreement on the time and place for the meeting. Ensure that enough time is available to get everyone’s view on the requirements.

Distribute the review materials and agenda

Before the requirements review meeting, every stakeholder must have a document copy. This will ensure that participants read the entire document and list their concerns. In this way, participants can come prepared for the meeting.

Every participant must make notes for the meeting. They must make a list of questions, doubts, or concerns for any or all requirements. They can also add suggestions for any missing requirement. In case of confusion, they can ask for clarification on a requirement.

Set the agenda for the meeting so that the meeting is not directionless. Let the participants know the way the review will be conducted. Tell them the expectations from the meeting so that the desired outcome is achieved. Also, mention the rules for the meeting.

Conduct the review meeting

There are two ways of going about the meeting.

Each participant presents his/his list of concerns and doubts one by one. The author provides clarifications on each point or answers to every concern. If the present participants do not agree, they can discuss the same further.

Another way is to have the author of the requirements document read each requirement. If everyone present agrees, the meeting participants move to the next. If there is any concern or question, participants discuss and resolve it.

The second way is better, as it gives a structured flow to the discussion. Participants can discuss each requirement and each line mentioned in the document. They can have a thorough discussion on each requirement before moving to the next one.

The review team checks the requirements for:

Completeness: There are no missing requirements and no redundant requirements

Consistency: Different requirements do not oppose each other in context

Correctness: The requirements address the actual needs of the user

Comprehensiveness: The requirements are easy to understand for the reader

Adaptability: It is easy to change the requirements without impacting the other requirements

Traceability: It is easy to trace the origin of the requirement

Feasibility: It is easy to achieve it in reality with the available time, money, and technology

Compliance: It complies with the regulatory or industry standards

The participants must review each requirement on the above factors. While discussing, they must address any doubts, confusion, or concerns. The author must prepare a checklist to assess all requirements against different criteria.

The meeting must be recorded for future reference purposes. It is also essential to get every participant’s agreement to the discussions. Encourage the participants to present any and every concern not addressed.

Update the requirements document

Refer to the notes prepared during the meeting. Listen to the recording to avoid missing any point of concern. Based on the notes, make changes to the requirements document.

Finalization

Send the edited requirements document to all the stakeholders of the project. If they agree to it, they will sign and send it back. If there are many suggestions for changes in the edited document, conduct another meeting.

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Conclusion

Now, since you know why reviewing requirements is essential, get down to the process. If you want help with it, consult an IT consultant. And, who better than Technovisors to assist you with framing and reviewing requirements.

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If you are looking to invest in IT assets, we can help you with your decision. If you intend to replace your technology solutions, we are the guide. If you wish to optimize the usage of your IT resources, we can consult you on that.

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FAQs

Yes, reviewing the requirements of the project is essential even if they are clearly defined. This gives an opportunity for every stakeholder to be on the same page. It also allows everyone to be aware of the goals and outcomes to achieve. Requirements review ensures there are no errors, omissions, or contradictions.
Yes, if there are many business functions involved in the project, it is good to have separate meetings. But, collate all the reviews from each meeting and prepare a single document. Again, share that document with all the stakeholders.

It ensures that everyone understands the roles and responsibilities of each business function. They also understand what phases of the project require interaction and collaboration with other teams. This will ensure an understanding of the value of each function for the project outcome.

About the Author

Pathik Shah

(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.