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When all your requirements are URGENT

Has it ever happened that ALL the requirements of a single project you received are the urgent or high priority?

Well, when you get it, it’s a head-scratching situation. It happens to me most for most of my projects and I believe it’s the same with you. As a Business Analyst in an Agile, it gets hard to prioritize them from a customer point of view when you are time bounded, leading with just enough resources and above all customer signs it off as Urgent.

When you are implementing Urgent requirements under above constraints and without a proper strategy, below are the few consequences:

  1. You superseding best practices
  2. Team struggles
  3. Interdependencies are missed
  4. The project team is confused, creates mistakes and this leads to Re-work


There is a strategic way to manage the above situations. Business communication plays a very important role in such situations. Below are few things I do as a BA, in order:

  1. As a Business Analyst, assign your prioritization based on your expert opinion, previous software knowledge, and past history. If you do not have this, go to step 2.
  2. Sit along with the Subject Matter expert or Customer and categorize them with their relative importance. Add another column beside priority which defines Very Important, Important, Medium Important and Less Important
  3. Sit with the Implementation Team and understand requirement’s relationships technically. i.e. if it’s a Derive, Necessity, Effort, Satisfy or Validate
  4. Focus on requirements that involve more risks. Remember “Fail Fast”?
  5. Calculate the efforts and man hours required. So that you estimate your sprint and releases.
  6. Sit with the customer and negotiate the priority. Make sure they differentiate Urgent and Important requirements. Keep them informed!
  7. Ensure no external factors hurdles the development team. If the team loses their momentum, it’s difficult to regain. Time is a factor!
  8. Finally, while working on requirements ensure that you follow DIRFT (Do It Right The First Time). This saves a lot of your time. Inform your customers on the impact of Urgency and time to complete a requirement. Mr. John Wooden said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when you will have time to do it over?”

Remember every details matter.

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