Project Management

Planning for Requirements: Three Keys

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

Requirements form the basis of the project work that needs to be done. Without good requirements, the project team will be lost during the execution phase. If the details of what needs to be done are not well defined, then the execution of the project will be full of questions, issues…and eventually a lot of rework and confusion.

You should have a good plan for getting the requirements defined well so that the project team does not have to deal with these problems down the road. Having a plan in place for handling the requirements is vital to the overall success of the project. In many ways, this plan will help to guide the entire project lifecycle. Without solid requirements, the best outcome may be a delayed project--but the worst outcome will be a product full of issues or quality problems. As the project manager, you are responsible for making sure the plan is executed correctly.

The first step in ensuring that the requirements for the project are well defined is to have a definition of the scope of the project. The scope is intended to provide boundaries for the project--what is the project supposed to accomplish and what is the project not supposed to accomplish? Establishing these boundaries in the beginning will help the project team determine what requirements are needed and how they will be defined and validated.

The more information that…

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"Let us be thankful for fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed."

- Mark Twain