Requirements analysis (also known as requirements engineering) can be defined as being the process through which you determine user expectations for a modified or new product. The features are called requirements. They have to be detailed, relevant and quantifiable. According to Anju Vallabhaneni, in software engineering, the requirements are referred to as functional specifications. Whenever discussing project management, requirements analysis is mentioned as a very important aspect.
Requirements analysis is a vital part of the management cycle but it is so often overlooked. Alternatively, not enough work is done to identify all requirements. Even experienced project managers sometimes fail at performing a very good requirements analysis, even if they do agree about the importance of this phase. When requirements are not correctly identified and the identification is not done in the project cycle’s early phase, project scheduled budget will be reduced and many other problems can appear. Basically, if this is not done properly, there is a pretty good possibility that the project will be a failure.
In an attempt to save time, requirements analysis is often overlooked. This is especially the case when referring to startups or smaller companies that are in a hurry to increase business growth and have a limited research budget available. What should be understood is that if requirements capture is not accurately done, project deliverables will not meet technology requirements or business user needs. A rework would be needed, which would be even more costly and time-consuming.
Requirement Analysis Best Practices
Problem definition, identification and capture – Requirement analysis have to identify problems along with business users. They have to be accurately defined, including information about problems the solution needs to solve and benefits expected from it.
Requirements need to be feasible.
High-Level Solution Description – This practically means that the solution that is to be planned has to be properly described at high levels, together with business needs that are catered to.
Addressing needs of users and stakeholders – This is one of the really important parts of any good requirement analysis. Before requirements are frozen, it is imperative to meticulously follow this stage. It helps in much more than analysis by providing information that will be used in the deployment phase.
Solution definition – As much detail as possible should be captured in regards to the identified solution. This helps clear any possible ambiguity.
Feature definition – Planned features have to be captured. This includes non-functional and functional requirements.
All gathered documentation through requirements analysis is important. It has to capture the workflow, processes, hierarchies, dependencies and practically anything noticed about requirements and even solutions. There are various documentation best practices that are recommended and that can be respected to create a correct and detailed requirements analysis. When this is properly done, the possibility of success drastically increases for the project.
Last but not least, using the best practices reduces the project costs and shortens development cycles. Needs mismatch is eliminated, team productivity is increased and the usability of the application is increased.