Chloe Boreham November 6, 2020 Project Management
The business requirements state what is required but do not specify how the deliverable will actually work. So in many projects with a tangible and technically sophisticated deliverable, it is very common to produce additional documentation about the look and feel of the end product. The functional specification describes not only how the end product will look but also how an end-user will actually use it and what the user-experience will be like. This document should contain sections that specifically relate to each of the requirements in the business requirements document so that every functional item can be tracked back to an original business need.
A project in general is divided into many phases depending on the life cycle model used for it. In general, the methodology deals with the genesis of a scheme, controlling it and termination of the plan! Where it all begins! An organization begins on a project, by getting down the objectives of the customer. The requirement gathering report should be as unambiguous as possible. You do not want to give a two-story house when the client had actually asked for two storerooms in the house! Get the deal straight! Then a mandate is provided to the client, which is an official document stating the needs of the customer, for their verification.
Most larger organisations have well developed and run IT departments. They usually have formal project offices with established plan templates and standards, with project office staff and automated plan analysis systems (for example seeking orphan tasks / missing dependencies and so on to measure overall `plan quality`). Smaller organisations - for example, `IT solutions houses` - may lack this level of sophistication but will certainly use detailed project plans.
If you are a manager responsible for managing projects, you will eventually need to delegate tasks to individuals or teams. And so it is important that the tool yo are using to manage the project be able to keep track of who is performing what task, and also allow you to add new documents and notes with ease. Communication is important with any project. You should have the capability to have good communication with your team through email reminders and keep track of how the project is going at any moment. And a good project management tool will allow you to have online discussions with your project team no matter their location. A reliable tool for managing a project is essential and will serve you well.
The business requirements document should accurately, and in detail, describe the purpose of the project. It states what is needed to achieve that goal i.e. what is in-scope, what is out-of-scope, any assumptions that have been made, any constraints that have been imposed and expected timescales. The document will form the definitive description of the aims of the project and, as such, can be used to manage the expectations of the stakeholders. It will also include acceptance criteria that will ultimately be used to judge whether the project was a success.
To start we will be clear that we are not going to deal here with repetitive implementation / rollout projects where a template plan has been refined over a series of projects and becomes a standard checklist for project management (for example for COTS - commercial off-the-shelf software). This article is about those one off (or initial template try-out) projects. These projects may be within organisations small, medium and large.