“Writing software that fully meets its specifications is like walking on water. For each, the former is easy if the latter is frozen and near impossible if fluid.” – Anonymous
This article is based on one of the most critical aspects of Project Management. Ironically, it is also a key aspect of Enterprise Software Development Projects but is highly neglected, assumed on its own and often overlooked by many analysts i.e. – REQUIREMENT GATHERING, also termed as REQUIREMENT ELICITATION.
Why Is It Important?
According to the studies, failure rate of software development projects ranges between 50% to 80%. There are variety of causes for this failure such as –
- Poorly defined project scope
- Inadequate risk management
- Lack of experience and training
- Poor leadership
- Lack of effective and detailed requirements
- Lack of effective communication etc.
But, the leading cause of complete or partial custom software development project failure is – Lack of Effective and Detailed Requirement Elicitation which is critical to the success of project. This oversight can be costly to the project in terms of time and budget but, more importantly, could lead to incomplete requirements or, even worse, a failed project.
Challenges in Offshore Software Development
Requirement Elicitation is not only important but at the same time its challenging specially for offshore projects. Requirement gathering for offshore projects is like delivering over a virtual wall or an ocean!!! Some of the common Requirement Gathering Challenges for offshore software development projects are –
- Ambiguity – as many stakeholders are unable to accurately articulate the business problem and keeps on changing and prioritizing the requirements, it becomes challenging to gather requirements.
- Time Difference- Since there is a major time difference and different time zones, so it becomes difficult to fix the meeting time that suits all.
- Language and Cultural Difference- Language barriers across cultures are numerous. There are disparities in people’s abilities to understand different languages.
- Limited access to stakeholders- stakeholders are mostly too busy to discuss the project requirements and it gets delayed.
Therefore, analysts performing the elicitation need to ensure that the requirements produced are clearly understandable, useful and relevant. A well-defined problem and clear requirements will go a long way in creating the correct solution that adds value to the business.
Probable Solution –
|Ambiguity||To overcome this challenge, we can –
|Time Difference||To overcome this – we can fix a time which suits all stakeholders.|
|Language and Cultural Difference||To overcome the difficulties caused by difference in languages and culture-
|Limited access to Stake holders||To overcome this, we can-
Requirement Elicitation Lifecycle
- Gather: Here, we gather requirements through brainstorming sessions with client, regular meetings, interviews etc.
- Record: Here, the gathered requirements are documented in a systematic way.
- Analyze: Here, the requirements are analyzed to prepare facts and figures for a business analyst to track possible result based on analysis.
- Validate: Here, needs or conditions required to meet the requirement is analyzed.
- Verify: Here, needs or conditions required to meet the requirement is verified.
- Confirm: Here, the requirements are confirmed with client to make sure they are rightly gathered.
There is a very common saying that “Precaution is better than cure” – So, it is better to define and lay down requirements properly and systematically rather than assessing and recovering a failing project. Thus, at a minimum, requirement elicitation should be Complete, Consistent, Correct, Unambiguous and Testable. This is the key to a successful software development project.
Project estimation is one of the most important steps in project management. Many times a project’s success or failure depends on the proper estimation process. There are many challenges in many aspects for project estimation. Let us understand the challenges in Software Development Project Estimation & their solution which can help in better project estimation for a successful software development project – https://www.aapnainfotech.com/software-development-project-estimation-problems-solutions/
Other Related Articles You Might Be Interested In
- Challenges of Software Development Outsourcing
- Software Development Outsourcing: 5 Key Reasons To Outsource
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To know more about the importance of Requirement Gathering, click
To know about what’s so important for Requirement Gathering, click
To know about Requirement Gathering Techniques, click
To know about why we should have a good Software requirement specification, click