Project Management

Gather Trust, Then Requirements

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One of the most difficult phases in project management is gathering business requirements. Many stakeholders simply don't know how to articulate what they want, or why they want it. Project managers who build trust will get better results.

When business customers and the project team have a relationship built on trust, they can work together more quickly to produce a product of value to the organization. There are various ways to build trust in order to gather business requirements more quickly and accurately.
 
Before the formal requirements gathering process begins, it is important to discuss the business context of the project with the sponsor. Requirements need to be gathered and managed in relation to the organization’s overall vision and strategic direction. They must link to business goals and objectives. When requirements do not have this linkage, which we call upwards traceability, there is a high likelihood that customers will request features and functions that are not only out-of-scope, but also promote their own personal agendas.
 
In addition to meeting business objectives, requirements should also work together to solve business problems. One of the most common complaints from business analysts and project managers that gather requirements is that their customers often bring them solutions. The underlying need for the solution, …

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