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Business Requirements – WARNING Write your Own

The title of this post gives away the final outcome, but the advice should be heeded when writing requirements.  Requirements are a list of desires, functions and a vision on how an application should work.  If there is not the staff to write requirements it would be wise to hire a firm that will assist in recording a project’s functionality.  Not writing your own requirements can place the project on a slippery slope on unmet milestones and missed items.

Handing the sole task of writing requirements over to a vendor that will implement a project could ensure a document is slanted in favor of the vendor.  A good example is the purchase of a car, tv or other good.  The salesperson is biased towards what they have to sell and looks to move the consumer in the direction of the merchandise of hand.  Likewise, a vendor is aware of their limitations and could write requirements slanted to favor those limitations.  It is best to take the time up front to write a solid document outlining the constraints and requisites for a project.  Writing your own requirements doesn’t guarantee each item is met precisely as written but does give a description of what is desired.

The RFP (request for proposal) is a prerequisite tool of requirements that request a replay from parties on how to achieve results and how to deliver solutions per listed requirements.  Numerous firms can implement a project and write the requirements as well, but it also places a vendor at a disadvantage.  The disadvantage is not knowing “The What” desired vs how to build “The What.”  It is wiser to invest the time up front in researching and writing requirements or else there will be more time, money, frustration and loss spent on trying to hit a moving target or aiming at no target at all.

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