We all choose products or services much quicker, if we know what we want. Find out how to define your IT requirements to an IT system vendor.
Companies that are planning to purchase an IT system first of all need to translate their expectations to requirements for a system or a project. This way, potential vendors can clearly understand what is the purpose and scope of the purchase. Good quality requirements help speed up the selection of a software solution, the vendor and the implementation of a project.
What is important to define when forming requirements?
- System’s general concept. What are the goals, what functions and scope will be covered by the system.
- Functional system requirements. What is the wording of the requirement – what are we trying to solve. This phase should not describe how the system is going to be constructed or what technology is going to be used.
- Non-functional system requirements. It is important to identify what integration will be required with other systems, what are the requirements for ergonomics, speed, access management, security, documentation, etc.
- Service and project requirements It is important to identify what interim results we want to achieve and what main features they need to have. Also, it’s important to define who will be the responsible person, how many system environments will there be and who and how will carry out the data migration. Furthermore, there needs to be consensus of how the testing will take place, what will the system hand-over will look like and what is the scope of further training and support.
Good quality requirements help speed up the selection of a software solution, the vendor and the implementation of a project.
The main mistakes when forming requirements:
- Ambiguity (for instance: the same subsystem has to generate visual or acoustic warning or message to the administrator or the user).
- Complex requirements (for instance: if a user did not perform any actions for more than 5 min. (configurable parameter) there has to be a warning message, the user session has to be ended, opened tabs and (or) entered data needs to be saved.
- Uncertain terminology (for instance: system’s settings need to be configurable in a more flexible way).
- Attempts to design the system (for instance: there needs to be a way to mark a task as complete.