An oft-heard refrain in IT Project Management circles:
If the business would get their requirements right, we’d be able to deliver this project on-time!”
How many project delays have come from shifting scope and requirements? More than a few, based on my experience. So how does one approach this problem?
Part of the answer lies in the question itself. It assumes that the business is responsible for imparting their requirements to IT in such as manner that IT can successfully deliver. Yet “the business” often knows little about the underlying technology, and thus has a hard time articulating their requirements in terms the technologists in IT will understand.
What is needed – and what works in successful project and IT departments – is a translator. We often think of the business analyst role fitting the bill perfectly. Their job, after all, is to understand the business issues and help determine the technical requirements that will fit the bill. The problem is, they are not driving the project – the project manager is.