Getting Consensus on Business Requirements: Tips and Traps - Slide 7

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Traps that Get in the Way of Consensus Building

One of the claimed advantages of a package is that it embodies industry best practices. Focusing on this possibility can be a subtle trap. Most organizations obviously want to make a decisive leap forward in process efficiency through the implementation of a new package, so it is easy to get distracted by this prospect. However, without knowing the degree of change from the existing process that this implies, it is difficult to precisely control scope and ensure that essential aspects of functionality are not lost in shooting for this “uber-function.”

When looking at best practices, keep le Châtelier’s Principle in mind: the greater the stress you put on a system, the more the system fights back to return to its state of comfortable equilibrium. Achieving great benefit then means dealing with significant organization resistance unless consensus is first reached on how the change will impact at the grass roots of an organization.

Out of every 100 IT projects started, 94 will start over again at least once. Before your company launches its next package selection, implementation, or upgrade, make sure you don’t cripple the project from the start by failing to identify your requirements the number one reason that projects spin out of control. Make sure that your company has a clear understanding of how important the requirements definition stage is, has a proven way to carry it out properly, and doesn’t skip this critical phase in the rush to get an RFP out the door.

The toughest job in the requirements definition stage is to get stakeholder agreement as a systematic, expected deliverable in the project cycle. It is absolutely essential (even on the most agile of projects) for a team to have consensus on the requirements. IAG Consulting shares what they’ve learned after over 1,000 engagements.

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