In any organization, each new product or service is created in response to a business need. However, despite spending time and resources on development, there can be a mismatch between the required product and the final product. Hence, there is a need for a focused and detailed requirements analysis in the initial stages of any project to avoid major problems in future.
What is Requirements Analysis?
Requirements analysis or requirements engineering is a process used to determine the needs and expectations of a new product. This includes defining expectations, resolving conflicts and communicating all key requirements with stakeholders and end users of the product.
One of the biggest challenges facing any organization is sharing the vision of the end product with the customers. Therefore, a business requirements analysis involves a team effort of all the key stakeholders, software developers, end-users and customer managers. This is done in order to get a good understanding of what the product is supposed to do. This is always done at the initial stage of any project to ensure that the final product conforms to all the requirements.
Requirements Analysis Process
A requirements analysis process includes the following steps:
Step 1: Identify the key stakeholders and end-users.
The first step of a requirement analysis process is to identify the key stakeholders who are the main sponsors of the project.
Next, identify the end-users of the product. Since the purpose of the product is to meet the needs of the end-users, their inputs are equally important.
Step 2: Capture Requirements
Ask each of the stakeholders and end-users about their requirements for the new product. Here are some requirements analysis techniques that you can use to capture the requirements:
1. Conduct face-to-face interview
Interview each stakeholder and end user individually. This technique will help you to gather the specific requirements.
2. Use Focus Groups
Conducting group interviews or group workshops to understand the flow of information between various stakeholders and end users. This technology will ensure that there will be no conflict of interest during the project.
3. Use Cases
Use Cases provide a walk-through of the entire product in the eyes of the end user. This technique will help to visualize how the product will actually work.
4. Build Prototypes
A prototype provides users with a sample look and feel of the final product. This technology will help in addressing the feasibility issues and early identification of problems.
Step 3: Categorize Requirements
Since requirements can be of different types, they should be grouped to avoid confusion. Requirements are generally divided into four categories:
- Functional Requirements – Product is required to function.
- Technical Requirements – Technical issues must be considered for the successful implementation of the product.
- Transitional Requirements – These are necessary for the smooth implementation of a new product.
- Transitional Requirements – Operations to be performed in the backend for the proper functioning of the product
Step 4: Interpreting and Recording the Requirements
Once the requirements are classified, determine which requirements are actually achievable and document each of them. Here are some techniques for interpreting and recording requirements:
Define the Requirements Accurately
Make sure the requirements are clearly related to the business needs.
Prioritize requirements and list them based on which are “most important” and which are “nice-to-have”.
Do Impact Analysis
Perform an impact analysis to ensure that you fully understand the consequences of the requirements.
Arrange a meeting with key stakeholders and resolve conflicting requirements. You can also do a scenario analysis to find out how the requirements will work for different possible scenarios.
Perform a detailed analysis of the product based on the requirements gathered to determine the reliability of the product and identify any major problems.
Once all the requirements are analyzed, create a detailed written document and disseminate it to key stakeholders, end-users and development teams .
Step 5: Sign off
After making a final decision on the requirements, make sure you get a signed agreement from the key stakeholders. This is done to ensure that there is no change or uncontrolled growth in the scope of the project.
Requirement Analysis Techniques
Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)
Business process models and notations are used to create graphs that ease the understanding of business processes. It is a popular technique used by business analysts to coordinate a sequence of messages between different participants in a set of related activities.
Flowcharts show the sequential flow and control logic of a related set of activities. They are useful for both technical and non-technical members.
Gantt Charts provide a visual representation of tasks along with their scheduled timelines. They help the business analysts to visualize the start and end dates of all the tasks in a project.
Gap analysis evaluates the gaps in the product’s performance to determine whether the requirements have been met. They help business analysts to determine the current state and target state of a product.
Requirement Analysis Tools
Requirements analysis can be done successfully using the right set of tools. Some of the most popular tools are:
- Jama Software
- Visure Requirements
- Modern Requirements
- IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next
- Perforce Helix RM
For the success of any project, it is important to do a requirements analysis when the requirements are collected as well as throughout the life cycle of the project. Therefore, there is a high demand for business analysts who The requirements of the business can be kept in line with the needs and objectives of the business.