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Categorize, prioritize and manage your requirements

Sometimes you may find it easy to group the requirements you need to meet the project and product objectives into categories. Some categories that have been use in the past are, quality, performance, safety, security, technical, training, support, and maintenance to name a few.

In addition to identifying, categorizing and prioritizing requirements, it is also useful to link the stakeholder associated with the requirements and write a couple of words what you believe capture what these stakeholders see as the mark of acceptance. It makes good sense to think this process through at this time early on in the planning. You may come to see later on that having this information is a great tool when making trade off decisions among requirements and in managing stakeholder expectations.

Plan how to manage your requirements

It is important that you have a plan to manage requirements throughout the project. This is another one of those plans that you cannot just make up, keep in your head and do not tell anybody about. Just because you have to write down a plan, it does not mean that you have to come up with something fancy. Just something simple will do. Make sure that you include the following.

•Technique you plan to use to collect the requirements.

•Categories that will be used to group the requirements.

•Approach that you will use to prioritize requirements.

•Attributes that you will use to trace the requirements.

•Procedure needed to change the requirements.

•Process for determining the impact of the change.

•Different methods that will be used to verify requirements.

Dorcas M.T. Cox is an instructor of project management certification classes at The Bahamas Institute of Financial Services(BIFS), author, President, and CEO of Project Management Solutions Ltd. Contacts;, e-mail Dorcas at or on Facebook at Bahamas ProjectSolutions.

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