Most software projects are destined to fail before the first line of code is written. Why? Bad software project requirements.
Failure to follow a proven process for gathering software project requirements is a guaranteed way to waste time, hemorrhage cash, and frustrate many people.
The process of gathering requirements for a software project is challenging. It requires asking the right questions and open collaboration between many people.
Some of the biggest challenges in this process are communication and knowledge. The reality is that people who are not developers do not understand the intricate complexity of software development. This lack of understanding leads to incorrect assumptions about the information a development team needs to build software.
For example, Businessman Bob communicates to a software developer that he needs to integrate his existing CRM with his accounting software. Bob asks, “How long will it take and how much will it cost?”
Developer Dan replies, “I am not sure Business Bob, I need more information about the project.”
The ensuing communication between Businessman Bob and Developer Dan is the project requirement gathering process. The success or failure of the project is dependent on the quality of the collaboration between the project stakeholders (Businessman Bob) and the developers.
Developer Dan loves writing code and probably doesn’t care that much about the business aspects of the project. He wants to write quality code and get paid for his work.
Businessman Bob is focused on achieving his business objective and expects the software to help him do that. More than likely he doesn’t comprehend or fully appreciates how hard it is to create functional software to solve a business problem.
Developer Dan and Businessman Bob both want to a do a great job and help each other, but sharing ideas is hard because of their different roles and backgrounds.
What is the solution?
A system for gathering software project requirements led by an experienced business analyst or project manager dramatically increases the likelihood of success.
If you have questions about gathering requirements for your next project or want to discuss a project, give us a call at 502.495.3936 or fill this out.
Read the next blog post in the Software Project Requirements series: 3 Types of Software Project Requirements.