O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Project Requirements: A Guide to Best Practices

Book Description

Project Requirements: A Guide to Best Practices gives project managers tools they can assimilate and apply easily to improve project success rates, reduce development costs, reduce rework, and accelerate time to market. Based on experience and best practices, this valuable reference will help you:
• Clarify real requirements before you initiate project work
• Improve management of project requirements
• Save time and effort
• Manage to your schedule
• Improve the quality of deliverables
• Increase customer satisfaction and drive repeat business
Project Requirements: A Guide to Best Practices provides project managers with a direct, practical strategy to overcome requirements challenges and manage requirements successfully.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Encouragement from a Fellow PM
  8. Preface
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. Chapter 1. Introduction
    1. How the PM Will Benefit By Paying Attention to Requirements
    2. What Are Requirements and Why Are They Important?
    3. Why Pay Attention to Requirements?
    4. Why This Book?
    5. Requirements Activities in the Project Life Cycle
    6. Requirements-Shaping PM Practices
    7. Setting Expectations Concerning the Requirements
    8. Goals of This Book
  11. Chapter 2. Key Requirements Success Factors
    1. Criteria for a Good Requirement
    2. Types of Requirements
    3. Need for High-Level Requirements
    4. Key Success Factors
      1. Engage all Project Roles in the Requirements Process
      2. Write a Project Vision and Scope Document
      3. Identify a Set of High-Level Requirements
      4. Use Trained and Experienced Requirements Analysts
      5. Evolve the “Real” Requirements
      6. Use Mechanisms to Manage Changes to Requirements and New Requirements
      7. Develop and Use a Requirements Plan
      8. Document and Invest in the Project’s Requirements Process
      9. Take Proactive Steps to Address the Most Frequent Types of Requirements Errors
      10. Understand the Real Requirements before Initiating Other Technical Work
      11. Involve the Project’s Customers and Users
      12. Plan for Change
      13. The Experience of Being a User in a Requirements Process
  12. Chapter 3. Partnering for Success
    1. Costs and Benefits of Partnering
    2. Securing the Commitment of Stakeholders
    3. The Partnering Process
      1. The Decision to Partner
      2. Evolving Mutual Expectations
      3. Initial Partnering Workshop
    4. Mutual Support in Ongoing Project Efforts
  13. Chapter 4. Requirements-Related Project Startup Issues
    1. Typical Requirements-Related Project Startup Issues
      1. Confusion Reigns
      2. Project Requirements Are Not Clear
      3. A Set of High-Level Requirements Is Not Identified
      4. All Requirements Are Considered Equal
      5. The Team Is under Pressure to Start the “Real Work”
      6. Requirements Are Not Clarified before Other Technical Work Is Initiated
      7. All Stakeholders Are Not Identified
      8. Effective Communication among Project Participants Is Lacking
      9. Customer Places Too Much Burden for Defining Requirements on the Developers
      10. Users Believe the New System Will Address All Their Perceived Needs
      11. Requirements Process Is Not Documented
      12. Project Staff Are Asked to Use Automated Tools without Training
    2. Suggested Remedies for Typical Requirements-Related Project Startup Issues
      1. Identify a Champion for the Project Requirements Process
      2. Hire and Train Experienced Requirements Analysts
      3. Write a Project Vision and Scope Document
      4. Form and Use a Joint Team
      5. Provide an Initial Project Requirements Briefing
      6. Design, Document, and Use the Project’s Requirements Process
      7. Identify the Real Requirements
      8. Provide Ongoing Training for the Requirements Analysts
      9. Select, Deploy, Implement, and Use Industry-Proven Effective Requirements Practices
      10. Engage All Project Staff in the Requirements Process
      11. Create a Project Configuration Control Board
      12. Undertake Team Building among the Project Staff
      13. Take Steps to Make Effective Use of an Automated Requirements Tool
    3. Requirements-Related Startup Checklist
  14. Chapter 5. Fostering Effective Teamwork
    1. The Need for Effective Teamwork Concerning Requirements Tasks
    2. Fostering Effective Teamwork
      1. Customer and User Involvement in Requirements Activities
      2. The Joint Team
      3. Identifying the Real Requirements
      4. Controlling New Requirements and Changes to Requirements
      5. Using a Requirements Working Group
      6. Addressing Verification and Validation during Requirements Development
  15. Chapter 6. Coaching the Project’s Requirements Manager and Requirements Analyst
    1. The PM as Coach
    2. Coaching Opportunities to Support the Roles of the RA
      1. Role 1: Work Collaboratively to Identify the Real Requirements
      2. Role 2: Work Effectively with Customers and Users to Manage New and Changed Requirements
      3. Role 3: Be Alert to New Technologies
      4. Role 4: Facilitate the Project in Reusing Artifacts and Achieving Repeatability
      5. Role 5: Assist in Envisioning a Growth Path to the Ultimate System
      6. Role 6: Advise the Project on Methods, Techniques, and Automated tools Available to Support Requirements-Related Work
      7. Role 7: Use Metrics to Measure, Track, and Control Requirements-Related Project Work
      8. Role 8: Facilitate Discussions and Mediate Conflicts
      9. Role 9: Study the Domain of the Area in Which the System Is Used
    3. Be Willing to Be Coached!
  16. Chapter 7. Clear Communication: The Key to Project Success
    1. How Communication Affects Requirements Activities
    2. Foster and Encourage Open Communication
    3. Empower Your Team Members
    4. Recognize the Efforts of Your Team Members
    5. Convene a Project CCB
    6. Hold Effective Meetings
    7. Establish Rules of Conduct
    8. Ensure Mutual Accountability
    9. Advocate for Effective Use of E-mail
  17. Chapter 8. Being Agile: The “Right” Amount of Discipline and Process
    1. Why Processes Help
    2. What Discipline Is Needed?
    3. Where to Start
    4. What Amount of Process Should Be Provided on a Project?
  18. Chapter 9. Continuous Improvement
    1. What Is Continuous Improvement?
    2. Why Pursue Continuous Improvement?
    3. Establishing an Environment of Continuous Improvement
      1. Identify the Business Objectives and Communicate Why They Are Important
      2. Set Goals and Milestones for the Project Based on Stakeholder Needs and Expectations
      3. Emphasize That Every Member of the Project Team Is Valued
      4. Welcome Opportunities for Improvement
      5. Create an Environment of Constructive Information Sharing
      6. Provide Practical Mechanisms for Identifying and Addressing Barriers
      7. Take Time to Assess Results
      8. Respond to Suggestions Made by the Project Team
  19. Chapter 10. The Project Manager’s Role Concerning Quality
    1. Setting Quality Goals
    2. The QA Role on a Project
      1. Role 1: Become One of the Sources of Process Knowledge
      2. Role 2: Develop and Maintain an Environment of Continuous Improvement
      3. Role 3: Don’t Audit; Instead, Teach and Coach
    3. Maintaining a Quality Culture on a Project
    4. Using Quality Improvement Tools and Techniques
  20. Chapter 11. Requirements, Risk, and the Project Manager
    1. Why Use Risk Management?
    2. Risk Management Planning
    3. Risk Identification
      1. Brainstorming
      2. Taxonomy-based Questionnaire
      3. Lessons Learned Analysis
    4. Risk Assessment
    5. Risk Response Planning
    6. Risk Monitoring and Control
  21. Chapter 12. Summary and Suggested Implementation Steps
    1. Suggested Implementation Steps
    2. Summary of Requirements-related Mechanisms
    3. Summary of Other Key Concepts
    4. Fostering Senior Management Commitment
  22. Epilogue
  23. Appendix A: Traceability by James D. Palmer
  24. Appendix B: Meet Minimum Requirements: Anything More Is Too Much by Neal Whitten
  25. Appendix C: Template for a Project Vision and Scope Document
  26. References and Resources for Additional Help
  27. Index