Why Is Requirements Gathering Important To Get Right?
In the previous article The #1 Reason Why Websites Fail I said, the number one reason website projects fail to deliver on their operational goals is because of “incorrect problem definition.”
I also mentioned that it leads to a couple of unfortunate scenarios, which are:
- The increased number of re-works, which leads to frustration for the developer
- Projects running late, which increases costs for the organisation
- Incorrect project goals
To avoid regrets and wasted resources, clients need to understand what a website is and what it is not. It is not a one solution for all business problems. Just because Company B is doing well in their sales and they have a website, does not mean Company A needs a website as well.
It is necessary to embark on a deep process of company introspection and do the kind of analysis that delves deep into the company’s vision. The kind of analysis that will look into the company’s capabilities and test them for effectiveness.
The question to ask yourselves is, “What is the problem?” This question can be answered through undertaking a requirements gathering process.
I would also advise the developers to keep this in mind and take pains to explain this to potential clients. This is because it affects your reputation and your ability to obtain future business with the same client. Keep in mind that marketing research studies have said that 80% of business comes from repeat customers, it is certainly also my own observation.
Requirements gathering asks these key questions as posited in this video at tutorialspoint :
- What is being done?
- How is it being done?
- What is the frequency of the task?
- What are the problems being encountered?
This will help the organisation as well as the developer to understand their business and it’s processes.
Doing this will help the developer to design or recommend the best solutions for their client.
Once the organisation understands its own processes and how a website solution fits in to achieve the overall company strategy, the website will become an integral part of the company’s activities. Not a white elephant that administrators are ashamed of and managers shun to talk about in their marketing and overall business strategy meetings.
A website project fails because there is only one person who understands its capabilities and that person is not a member of the said organisation.
Therefore, go through the requirements gathering process, plan and budget well for this piece of technology. If it is done well, everyone will in the process buy into the website and it will be just a matter of time before customers rave and rant about it to the world!
A website that doesn’t align to business strategies and processes is a useless waste of everyone’s time!