Getting Consensus on Business Requirements: Tips and Traps - Slide 3

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Tips for Accelerating Consensus Building

Stakeholders will not participate if they feel their time is being wasted. Companies need to cut in half the amount of time they demand from users to define their requirements. After this, if it takes more than a week to produce and approve documentation of the requirements, it is likely that the original requirement will have shifted somewhat. Speed is fundamental. Any approach that is not highly accelerated is unlikely to be consistently applied over a wide range of project types.

The essence of getting speed is to use a highly disciplined approach to managing the elicitation sessions. Such an approach forces the right questions to be asked at the right times, and prevents a group from going backward to rehash decisions that have already been made. A disciplined approach is productive, comprehensive, and exciting for participants.

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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