The Benefits of Clear Requirements for IT Solution Delivery

Twenty-five percent of all technology projects fail, while a further 20-25 percent don’t show a return on investment, according to research. Unworkable timescales, ambiguous guidelines, a lack of clarity — these are just some of the reasons for IT implementation failure. As businesses rush new products to market, IT solution teams often grapple with unclear requirements and struggle with quality assurance processes. The result? Inferior products and disgruntled customers. Below, I’ve outlined some of the benefits of a good requirement management strategy.

Higher Quality Products

Proper requirements gathering — where IT solution teams collect a statement of key objectives, important product information, specifications and design constraints — helps developers create higher quality products. They can deliver systems with fewer defects — which results in higher levels of satisfaction from stakeholders, consumers, and users.

Yet many businesses still don’t have adequate requirements processes in place. One in three companies admits they are not doing enough to grow skills and competency in requirements definition and management, and a whopping 90 percent realize their current requirements practices are just not good enough. I think brands should not only provide IT solution teams with in-depth information and guidelines but also collaborate with them through the entire product production process.

Shorter Delivery Times

Research shows that inadequate requirements specifications and changes in requirements are the top two factors that contribute to failed system development contracts. Businesses that utilize clear guidelines at every stage of the IT lifecycle — from initial concept through to development and distribution — allow IT solution teams to focus on their objectives. Explicit requirements help these teams get products to market in a shorter time frame and speed up delivery times.

The most successful IT implementation projects are those where businesses and IT solutions teams understand each others’ objectives and concerns, and exchange information and ideas throughout the process.

Lower Costs

Requirements management lowers costs during the IT development process. Once IT solution teams have a clear, comprehensive set of guidelines to work with, they can develop systems with fewer unnecessary features, and reduce defects and rework. They no longer have to make estimates and assumptions when building systems, either.

Good requirements management reduces product development costs by up to three times and boosts profit margins by 230 percent, according to research. These statistics should encourage more businesses to invest in requirement definition and management when working with IT solution teams.

Meet Business Expectations

IT solution teams with clear requirements meet business expectations, increasing their chances of working with the same organization again in the future. They have a sufficient flow of information at all times — and can contact the organization if they have questions or concerns — and can meet the needs of the client appropriately.

Fifty-eight percent of projects that fail do so because of a lack of alignment, according to a study. Those projects were not correctly aligned to the client’s organizational strategy, which often results in project failure. It makes sense, therefore, for business managers and IT solution teams to meet before a new project and brainstorm ideas.

IT solution teams who gather the correct requirements from managers are more likely to succeed. They reduce development costs, shorten product delivery times and produce higher quality products. Going forward, all business managers should endeavor to make their intentions, goals, and objectives clear to avoid IT implementation failure.

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