Why We Should Invest in Requirements Management


Need to convince someone in your management chain why they should invest in managing requirements? There are some great arguments in this post by sudhakar –

Agile RUP for Product Development : Best Practices of Requirements Collection .

There is a lot more in the post, but the key high level “Why should we invest in managing our software projects?” answers are summarized from several research reports:

  • The Standish group reports that over 80% of projects are unsuccessful
    either because they are over budget, late, missing function, or a
    combination. (
    http://www.standishgroup.com/sample_research/chaos_1994_1.php)
  • 53 percent of projects cost 189 percent of their original estimate.
  • Average schedule overruns may be as high as 100%
  • Over 40% to 60% of defects in software are caused by poor requirements
    definition.
  • About One-Quarter of all projects are cancelled.
  • Customers do not use 20% of their product features.

And the key lower-level reasons why requirements affect the success of a project:

  1. Better requirements enable better design and architecture decisions.
  2. Better requirements reduce iterations in the implementation, because the dev team isn’t operating on incomplete information.
  3. Better requirements reduce (bad) assumptions by the developers, resulting in higher quality.
  4. Better requirements improve the testability of the application, both mitigating risk and enabling automated testing (reducing maintenance costs).

There’s more stuff in the post, and it’s a good read. Check it out.

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