Requirements management is a complex, yet significantly important part of a business analysis, project management, and software engineering. It is the phase where the business analysts and project managers define the scope of the project or product.
Requirements management and analysis have been formally discussed at many places. There is a great number of resources available regarding the requirements management methodologies, tracing requirements and characteristics of good requirements. So, we are briefly touching the important parts in the context of startups.
Requirements Management and Startups
Many of us know that the terms like process, proof of concept, scope, schedule, design, requirements, maintainability or documentation are not too likable by the startup people. It is understandable to a certain extent as well. Firstly because of the passion and eagerness to get the product ready and launch. Secondly, the need for agility in the world which is advancing faster than ever.
However, using these concepts and terms can help startups and get them the success they are looking for. They should follow some methodology, ideally agile. Following a process using a methodology is not an objective. It is merely an effective tool to achieve your desired goals. Usually, requirements management is understood or analyzed on the basis of the Project Management Triangle, which is a model of constraints and a key concept in requirements management.
In short, the Project management Triangle states that the quality of any project is constrained by three elements. These elements include budget, deadlines, and features also known as cost, timeline/time, and scope. These three are inversely proportional which means these three cannot be improved or controlled together. On this basis, a solid requirements analysis of the project can be done.
Now let’s look at some tips for startups regarding better Requirements Management.
1. Startup Friendly Tips for Requirements Management
Here we are going to briefly suggest some tips for startups by which they can effectively perform requirements analysis and manage it properly. Let’s look at these tips below.
2. Analyze and inspect the alternative, similar products
You do not have to do everything from scratch. Keep an eye on your competition and deeply analyze their strategy to meet their goals. This will not only help you devise a better strategy but will also clearly unveil whether your product has the market worth which you thought it has or not. Additionally, it will also help you analyze the requirements in a quicker and experienced manner.
3. Requirements Should be Documented
Many startups rely on a word to document the requirements in the form of bullets. There is nothing wrong about this and they certainly have to keep their budget low, so buying a requirements management tool would be a waste. However, if there is an option available for free then it is always better to go for a requirements management tool to document the requirements. It does not document the requirements but keeps the tracks as well.
4. Never Ignore or Disregard your Potential Customer
Many startups do not touch their customers until their whole product is ready to sell. This is a wrong approach as you should always keep your potential customers in the loop. You should always be on the lookout for their feedback about the product.
You can do this by letting them test the services before launch and ask for feedback. It can also be done via Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and then improve it as per the comments by the customer. This would help you manage the requirements in a better way because those would be coming from your potential customer who is the most important part of your business.
5. Do not take Months in Requirements Management
You need to understand that requirements management is a continuous project and if you are going to take months in managing the requirements, you would not be able to complete the project. It is not an agile way at all.
According to analyst at Pearls-inc requirement management tool startup, “You can start with your objective, boundaries, communications with the team and stakeholders to be on the same page, and the preparation of the minimum viable product. The requirements should be detailed and documented and it can evolve during the project, based on customer’s feedback.”
6. Systematically Prioritize the Requirements
After getting all the requirements, you would have to prioritize some over the others. It should be done in a systematic manner so it can benefit everyone including the product managers, project managers and business analysts, who are the makers, as well as the team members and stakeholders.
This Prioritization can be done on the basis of ROI because the cost is the biggest constraint for the startups. However, it is not necessary, as if the startup is focused on quality, then that can be the basis for prioritization.
7. Real-time Communication with the Team
The clear and real-time communication with the team is essential. Otherwise, the important members of the team can be a problem because of the communication issue. For this, a decent and effective requirements management tool can come handy, as it comes with several features and functionalities, one of which is the real-time communication among the team members, product manager, project manager, business analysts, and other stakeholders.
8. Keep Track of all the Changes in the Requirements
Keeping the record of changes is essential because it directly deals with the constraints of the Project Management Triangle. It does not only help you make wise decisions for the betterment of the project but also helps you communicate everything to the stakeholders in a clear and concise manner, which can come really handy for the startups.
So, these are some of the startup-friendly tips for requirements analysis and management. It might not seem important for the startups, but they need to understand that it can increase their chances of success due to better execution of everything in the project. Additionally, it is also important to get a basic requirements management software, especially when it is available for free. The cost is the main issue why the startups do not go for a decent RM tool. But now they can without spending a single penny!