You probably have heard about this topic a lot. Clear requirements are essential to give your product a good start; this is because we often try to gather all the requirements from the client as fast as possible so the team can start working on the product, which can lead to potential risks that can turn into terrible consequences if requirements are not 100% defined since the beginning of the process. Unfortunately, teams can find themselves in these dire situations as they do not realize the importance of the product's requirements, so, what can we do to prevent all this and launch a successful product that will make our clients feel happy and satisfied?
First things first, let's take a look at the definition of the word:
A requirement is a need demanded by a client that is quantifiable, relevant and detailed.
Once we understand this concept completely, we need to take a reasonable period of time to:
Discover: This is the phase where the requirements for the product start being gathered. Usually, clients are asked first about the problem that they are currently experiencing and the pain points. Clients express their needs, which can start being seen as possible features for the team to continue building a list of requirements. If requirements are not found in this step, they will most likely be found when the product is being developed.
Evaluate: Once you have a pretty solid list of requirements, it is important to take some time to evaluate how important these requirements for your product are. Sometimes the team realizes that some requirements won't add a significant amount of value to the product after being fully analyzed and evaluated for importance which is totally okay (after all, this is what this step is for).
What is more important than a requirement? The answer is a well-written requirement.
Quality is related to a well-written requirement. As your team makes the whole list of requirements, you need to pay attention to the quality of these. Otherwise, you can have requirements that will make you lose time, money and waste effort. Well-written requirements are unambiguous, they give us the correct context and have crystal-clear examples represented most of the times with the user's stories.
Well-written requirements will guide you to benefits like the following ones:
- The product's owner can write down better user's stories.
- Teams have clearer objectives that leave no room for doubt.
- Requirements help to define a product's scope.
- Acceptance criteria for software engineers and QA teams can be established.