- Organizations focus on the wrong thing. Software projects delivered results that failed to address a strategic business need were a predominant complaint. The misguided mission of “getting the work done,” instead of enhancing two-way communication with stakeholders about components needed to propel the organization forward, lead to problems.
- Not enough time spent on requirements. Time and time again, organizations reporting on challenged projects say that not enough time is devoted to eliciting requirements. Successful projects reported the opposite—that the time spent on requirements was “about right.”
- The wrong people “do” requirements. Often, the person who has the time to gather requirements is the person asked to define requirements. In some organizations the vendor is given the responsibility of documenting requirements. No wonder there are problems on these projects.
- Often BAs don’t have the right stuff. Research has found that just because someone holds the title “Business Analyst” doesn’t guarantee that a person is qualified to define and manage requirements for difficult, complex projects. Furthermore, holding certification in business analysis doesn’t mean that they are able to navigate successfully in this environment.
- Government contracts are too complex. The complexity of the contracting process made requirements problematic for some organizations. Delays between when a request is submitted and when the product or service is actually contracted often meant that the requirements information becomes Overcome By Events (OBE); resulting in a solution that does not meet the business need.
Despite the value of requirements to the enterprise, most organizations apply surprisingly little rigor to their approaches to requirements elicitation and management. Moreover, many executives continue to underestimate the impact of their requirements discipline on organizational success.
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