The Worst Project Management Challenge

Does your organization only give lip service the product development life cycle and not adequately provide requirements before design and development begins?

The biggest, baddest and most ugliest pain point for project management professionals is missing, ambiguous, misunderstood or incorrect requirements. To increase project success, conduct verification and validation activities to find requirements defects early in the process. Studies show that validation and verification techniques are a wise investment of time that prevent requirements related defects from showing up in later project phases.What is verification? These are activities that show whether your project requirements are written correctly. Verification shows whether your project is creating requirements right. Types of requirements verification activities that you can use on any size of project include:

– Peer review; Informal or formal review of written requirements and graphical models that identify and correct defects.
– Defect checklists:  Best practices guidelines for each type of requirement or model to make sure they comply with organization standards and are concise, complete and correct.

What is validation? These are activities that confirm whether the requirements will satisfy the user needs and support senior management’s business objectives. Validation shows whether your project is working on the right requirements. Types of validation activities that you can use on any size of project:

– Requirements traceability: Formal or informal linking of requirements to the original needs for which the project was launched.
– Prototyping; Potential implementations of a web element, user interface or user sequence of work steps. These can be quick paper-based techniques.
– User Acceptance Testing: Review of the documented criteria for customer acceptance of the solution.

Two ugly myths: First myth is that validation and verification activities are only for large, complex projects. Any of these techniques can be scaled for use on any size project.  Another myth is that validation is performed at the end of the test cycle. Wrong. Validation is performed early to find and correct defects early before they have a change to propagate to downstream development phases.

Increase your project success by incorporating verification and validation activities during the requirements phase.

What is Your biggest project pain point? Type in your project-related challenge now.

Rosemary Hossenlopp © 2007 All Rights Reserve

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