Consult Stakeholders for Requirements Definition

When you have to deliver on requirements definition for technology and software projects, it is critical that you consider all the stakeholders involved for their input, buy-in and consideration. This includes:

  • Customers
  • Users
  • Managers
  • Analysts (those who are looking at data/reporting)
  • Partners

If you design and drive requirements alone, you may be missing both overt and nuanced requirements that may be costly to fix later. Furthermore, you may overdesign a solution that could otherwise be made simpler.

Stakeholders have to live with the final deliverable and you want to avoid having to explain why your solution does not fit the problem they may have considered.

A few clarifying questions when you solicit input:

“What is a straightforward way you will use the solution? Anything in the proposed design we should slough?”

“What can be implemented later after we see a workable solution?”

“What am I not considering?”

“Can you show me how you are executing without this solution today?”

“Do I need to consider anyone else’s input?”

Requirements definition is critical path to avoid missing deadlines and costly redesign. Ultimately, it is a leadership responsibility to engage and collaborate stakeholders that have skin in the game to the eventual solution. Lead well when driving the solution you are after.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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