The key to a successful project is gathering the right information about the requirements before starting it. Most of the projects don’t gather the requirements properly and end up as unsuccessful pursuits. But there’s an easy way to alleviate this problem known as requirements gathering.

What is Requirement Gathering?

Every project is unique and has different requirements. Hence it is necessary to understand what you are building, and why you’re building it. Requirement gatherings consist of a set of activities such as requirements elicitation i.e. getting your business requirements from relevant stakeholders to understand the needs of the users, requirements documentation which stands for codifying that information in the form of user stories and feature specifications so they are accessible to the project team, and requirements understanding to make sure that everyone is on the same page about your project.

Tips to form a good project scope before talking to a vendor for implementation

There are many things you must keep in mind to form a good project scope and to gather requirement. It includes:

  • Establishing project goals and objectives early: It will give you plenty of time to work on every aspect of your project and derive better results.
  • Document every requirement elicitation activity: You can refer to a documented project whenever you want while things kept in mind tend to fade away with time.
  • Bring transparency to requirement documents: It will help your stakeholder to understand your understanding of the project.
  • Talk to the right stakeholders and users: To bring efficiency to your project and implement it in a seamless manner.
  • Don’t make assumptions about the requirements: Don’t assume that you know it all or you have understood everything. Clear any doubts you have before starting the project.
  • Practice active listening: Listen to the clients i.e. what they want and what they don’t. Acknowledge their opinion.
  • Focus on business requirements rather than tools i.e. be careful while gathering requirements or listening to what your stakeholder needs instead of focusing on what your tool-of-choice does the best.
  • Prioritise your product features: Analyse the complete project well and set a priority list of features that you would like to focus as per the client requirements.

Key People To Get Involved To Start A Digital Project

To make sure that your project doesn’t fall off the midway, outline and define stakeholder involvement as a part of the project initiation. It is very important to have clarity about who is going to do the tasks, who will be implementing the plans, who will be held accountable for signing off deliverables or reviewing and feeding them on both the sides i.e. the client and internal stakeholders. One of the best ways to achieve the same is creating a RACI. Your Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can play vital roles in this process to gather requirement. Once it is done, set modes of internal communication so that there is no gap amongst your team. Finally, everything can be concluded in a kick-off stakeholder meeting for having introductions, defining roles and responsibilities, deliverables, assumptions, risks, dependencies, timings, costs, and team shape.

Things To Consider

  • Functions: Everything regarding the process such as what specific business processes are supported by it, how will you go about documentation management, system change control, corrective and preventive actions, etc. must be analysed well before initiating a project. Prepare specific reporting needed by your system to make important decisions. Keep in mind all the system regulations you have i.e. 21 CFR Part 11, Annex 11, ICH E6, 21 CFR Part 820, or something else? Set standards that your project must meet such as ISO 13785, SOX, GAMP 5, etc. Look for the possible options of integration along with their availability and the valid reason to integrate your project with them.

To gather requirement, pay attention to what type of support will this system provide and will it need a help desk to resolve queries? Prepare all the training documentation, user guides, deployment guides, or validation scripts as per your requirement. Be ready with the minimum level of procedural controls to manage your system once it is live in the market. Migrate some of the existing records in the new system if required.

  • Data Integrations: In gathering requirement, the process of data integration involves combining data contained in different sources and providing a unified view of it to the users. This process is highly functional for both the commercial i.e. when two companies of the same origin want to merge their databases and scientific domains in which we combine research results from different bioinformatics repositories. As the volume and need to share the current data increases, the frequency of data integration increases as well. The process of data integration encourages users to collaborate between internal and external sources and has become the focus of extensive theoretical work.

Key Things to Ask Your Vendor

Ask your vendor about the following things:

  • The terms of payment and are they negotiable?
  • What is going to be your total cost including each and everything, big or small?
  • Ask for a liability insurance certificate.
  • Ask about the ways the vendor is going to use to sell your project.
  • Can the vendor provide you with a guaranteed sell-through?
  • What is the expected loss margin?
  • At what stage, do you take the ownership of the project?

Endnote

There is a lot more to gather requirements than we can imagine. It takes a lot of efforts and resources to build a perfect digital solution. And the best way to build one is to get things done perfectly beforehand i.e. meeting all the project requirements, paying attention to the functions and methods for data integration. And finally, getting ready with all the questions you must ask your vendor.