The Business Requirement

T

he Business Requirement seeks to address business problems, changes and wishes e.g.

  • Changes company strategy or direction.
  • The business issues not being met.
  • Problems caused by the technical platform.
  • Changes in organisational structure.
  • Changes in the business market.

Typical changes and problems are:

  • Changes in the company strategy.
  • Business issues not being met.
  • Problems caused by the technical platform.
  • Changes in organisational structure.
  • Changes in the business market.

Typical risks would be:

  • Loss of market share or brand strength.
  • Adverse profit changes.
  • Unable to support the new environment.
  • Loss of key staff.
  • Problems in product fulfilment.

Typical constraints would be:

  • Money.
  • Time.
  • Technical environment.
  • Market forces.
  • Skills availability.
  • Solution availability.

When reviewing the Business Requirement and options, plan your approach by considering these events:

  • Organisation – is it going to change? Must it change to address the Business Requirement?
  • Business – market forces, aims of the business etc.
  • User – nature of the users, skill level, adaptability etc.
  • System – constraints, upgrade path, costs.
  • Resources – availability, marginal costs.
  • Constraints and problems – what are they and what are their effects?
  • Advantages – what does your client get out it in exchange for cost and upheaval?

The decision as to what option to follow will be made by weighing: Costs, Upheaval, Time, Results, Resource Availability and Problems Overcome against the Perceived Value of the end product i.e.

Benefits > Costs + Changes Made

The Business Requirement can be the single most important task that a Consultant is charged with.

Remember: Without a clear and agreed definition of the Business Requirement, any project will quickly lose direction and not meet the needs of the users.

The Business Requirement must be:

  • Clearly defined
  • Formally agreed by the sponsor
  • Totally nailed down

Always, Always

Define the actual Problem and its Requirements Not their idea of what it is!