Collect Requirements Process and its importance in terms of PMP

Collect Requirements Process and its importance: In this article, I would like to focus on elaborating overview of  Collect Requirement process and its importance including Inputs, Tools & techniques and Outputs based on latest edition of  PMBOK.



Collect Requirements Process and its importance in Project Management


Introduction to Collect Requirements Process

Collect Requirements Process is the Second process of Project Scope Management knowledge area and part of planning process group, which is used to determine, document and managed needs and requirements of the stakeholders in order to meet the objectives of the project.

Collect Requirements Process and its importance in terms of PMP


Six processes of Project Scope Management
 

1. Plan Scope Management (Planning)
2. Collect Requirements (Planning)
4. Create WBS (Planning)
5. Validate Scope (Monitoring and Controlling)
6. Control Scope (Monitoring and Controlling)

What is Collect Requirements process in terms of Project Management?

Collect requirement is the process of gathering various requirements of the project and deals with techniques of requirements collection and decision making that meets the expectations of stakeholders, customers and sponsors. Project manager is responsible to collect all necessary documents which becomes foundation for creating work breakdown structure (WBS).
Process Group
Knowledge Area
Planning
This process is used to determine, document, and manage the needs of the product, service, or result of the project by active stakeholders in order to complete project successfully.

Why Collect Requirements process is important?

Collect requirements process is important project management process because it provides basis for defining, documenting and managing scope of the project as well as product.

The document for the collect requirements is considered as key documentation which includes detailed requirements that required to fulfil needs and expectation of the stakeholders. Project schedule, cost, risks, quality specification, resource plans and other required parameters are based on this key documentation.

Inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs of Collect Requirements process


Collect Requirements Process and its importance in terms of PMP

What are the inputs of Collect Requirements Process?

Collect Requirements: Inputs

     1.     Project charter

The project charter is important input of Collect Requirements process which includes overview of service or result, product of the project, high level project description and high-level requirements that will be used to develop detailed requirements.

     2.     Project management plan

Project management plan includes:
  • Scope management plan
Scope management plan is the output of Plan scope management process which includes information on defining and developing scope of the project.

  • Requirements management plan
Requirements management plan is another output of Scope management plan which provides information on how project requirements will be collected, analysed, documented and how to handle these requirements.

  • Stakeholder engagement plan
Stakeholder engagement plan is the output of Plan stakeholder engagement process which will be described in the chapter called Project stakeholder management. This process is used to understand stakeholder’s involved, their requirements and their level of engagement in the project to meet its objectives.

     3.     Project documents

Project documents includes:
  • Assumption log
The assumption log contains high-level and low-level assumptions. It is used to identify assumptions which can influence requirements such as the product, project, stakeholders and other factors.
  • Lessons learned register
Lessons learned register provides information on techniques for effective collection of requirements particularly for projects which are using an iterative or adaptive (agile) product development methodology.
  • Stakeholder register
Stakeholder register identifies stakeholders who can provide information on the requirements and captures stakeholder’s requirements and expectations. Stakeholder register is an output of Identify stakeholders process of Project stakeholder management knowledge area.

     4.     Agreements

Agreements consists requirements of the project and product. Agreement contains project schedule, major deliverables, payment terms, procurement statement of work, general terms, change request handing techniques etc. Agreement needs to be done with business partners as per requirement.

     5.     Business documents

Business case is a business document which can influence the Collect Requirements process. Business case includes the objectives of the project and business need for initiating the project.

It also describes required as well as optional criteria for meeting the business needs. Project manager can provide only recommendation but main accountability for developing and maintaining business needs goes to the project sponsor.

     6.   Enterprise environmental factors

The enterprise environmental factors that can influence the Collect Requirements process includes:
  • Organizational culture
  • Personnel administration
  • Infrastructure
  • Marketplace conditions

7.   Organizational process assets

The organizational process assets that can influence the Collect Requirements process includes:
  • Policies and procedures of the project
  • Historical information
  • Lessons learned repositories


What are the tools and techniques used for Collect Requirements process?

Collect Requirements: Tools & Techniques

1. Expert judgment

Expert judgement describes how subject matter experts and stakeholders can be utilized to assist project manager for the purpose of developing Scope Management Plan.

Expert judgement is used to resolve issue or challenges if any arises during handling the project. Expertise should be considered from knowledgeable and experienced individuals or groups on business analysis, requirements elicitation, requirements documentation, requirements analysis, diagramming techniques, facilitation techniques, conflict management techniques, project requirements in previous similar projects.

2. Data gathering

Data gathering techniques include:
  • Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a technique which is conducted in a group to identify and gather multiple lists of ideas related to project.
  • Interviews
An interview is used to gather information related to the project from stakeholders by talking, asking questions and recording their responses. Interviews are also used to obtain confidential information.
  • Focus groups
Focus groups bring together stakeholders and subject matter experts in order to gather information about their needs and expectations. and attitudes about a proposed product, service, or result. Moderator involved who guides the group through an interactive discussion designed to be more conversational than a one-on-one interview.
  • Questionnaires and surveys
Questionnaires and surveys are written sets of questions designed to quickly accumulate information from many respondents.
  • Benchmarking
Benchmarking is also one of the data gathering techniques which compares actual or planned elements such as products, processes, and practices to those of comparable organizations (internal or external) to identify best practices and generate ideas for improvement.

3. Data analysis


Data analysis techniques used as tools & techniques for collect requirement process is document analysis which is used to produce requirements by analyzing existing documentation and identifying information relevant to the requirements.

4. Decision making

Decision making techniques include:
  • Voting
Voting is a collective decision-making technique which is used to create, classify, and prioritize product requirements. Voting techniques include:
Unanimity: Everyone agrees on a single course of action.
Majority: Support obtained from more than 50% of the members.
Plurality: Used when number of options nominated is more than two. largest block in a group decides, even if a majority is not achieved.
  • Autocratic decision making
Here, individual makes the decision for the group.
  • Multicriteria decision making
A technique that uses a decision matrix to provide a systematic analytical approach for establishing criteria, such as risk levels, uncertainty, and valuation, to evaluate and rank many ideas.

5. Data representation

Data representation techniques includes:
  • Affinity diagrams
Affinity diagrams allow large numbers of ideas that are generated from other requirements gathering techniques to be sorted into groups for further analysis.
  • Mind mapping
Mind mapping is a diagram of consolidated ideas which is used to reflect similarity and differences in understanding and to generate new ideas.

6. Interpersonal and team skills

Interpersonal and team skills includes:
  • Nominal group technique
The nominal group technique usually done during same meeting as brainstorming with a voting process used to rank the most useful ideas for prioritization.
  • Obseration/conversation
Observation is also known as “job shadowing” which is usually done externally by an observer watching a potential user performing work. It can also be done by a “participant observer”. Observation and conversation provide direct method of watching individuals in their work environment to determine how they execute their activities.
  • Facilitation
Facilitation session has ability to effectively guide group of stakeholders to a successful decision or conclusion. Facilitation session is most important as it can identify issues earlier and resolution process is quicker.

7. Context diagram

Context diagram is a scope model which depict the product scope visually by showing a business system and how people and other systems interact with it.

8. Prototypes

Prototype is a model or sample of expected product designed before building it. Prototype is presented to stakeholders to obtain early feedback on requirements. Example of prototyping is Storyboarding.


What are the outputs of Collect Requirements process?

Collect Requirements: Outputs


1. Requirements Documentation

Requirements documentation is an important output of Collect requirements process which provides idea on how individual requirements meet project’s business need. As per need, the format of the requirements document may range from a simple document to more elaborate forms.

Simple form lists all the requirements categorized by stakeholder and priority whereas elaborate forms contains an executive summary, detailed descriptions, and attachments. Requirements can be grouped into classifications which includes Stakeholder, business, solution, Project, quality and transition requirements.

2. Requirements traceability matrix

Requirements traceability matrix is another important output of Collect Requirements process which helps track the requirements over the project’s life cycle. It ensures each requirement adds business value and all requirements completed to deliver successful outcomes. It is a grid that links product requirements from their origin to the deliverables that satisfy them and provides structure to manage changes to product scope.

In order to keep track of all information and to analyse requirements, requirement traceability matrix can be used by the project manages. Tracing requirements includes product design and development, project objectives and scope, WBS deliverables, high level requirements etc. Attributes are associated with each requirement which helps to define key information about the requirement.

Conclusion

Most hopefully, you would like this information. This chapter is very much important to understand because if project requirements are not collected properly then many issues may arise, and it will greatly impact project to meet its objectives.

Project success is highly influenced by Collect Requirements process of Project Scope Management and, also this process is vital component of PMP examination.

Next article will be based on third process of Project Scope Management i. e “Define Scope” which also falls under planning process group.

Share your views/questions about this article in the comment box below which would be highly appreciated and of course, you can also contact me on my email id: [email protected]
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