Business analysts, are you prioritizing requirements the right way?
by Ananya P. Co-founder
How many times in your BA role
have you been caught up with stakeholders arguing on which requirements need to
be taken up?
How many times have you had
long meetings trying to negotiate with stakeholders who claimed that all the
requirements were critical?
Most of my BA friends would
agree that requirements prioritization is one of the critical tasks for
documenting and finalizing requirements. However, it is not devoid of
challenges. Each stakeholder may value something different and this can result
in conflicts. It may also seem that all requirements are important and need
While we may love to have all
the requirements implemented, it is almost impossible to do so with the limited
resources of the project. It is at this point that we need to understand the
critical requirements that need to be addressed. Prioritizing requirements
helps us in this regard.
Prioritization of requirements
is critical to any project for the following reasons:
- It helps in determining the relative importance of various
- It helps in determining which requirements need to be
targeted for further analysis
- It helps in determining how much time or detail should be
allocated to the identified requirements
- It helps in identifying those requirements which need to be
implemented first/taken up in the next phase
As the popular saying goes we
can’t make everyone happy, this is also true with stakeholders. But as business
analysts, we have to consider our stakeholders, their needs, and their opinions
on the value of a requirement and come up with the best possible outcome.
So, here are a few aspects
which you need to consider while prioritizing requirements:
- Category of the requirement – Business requirement,
Stakeholder requirement, Solution requirement (Functional, Non-Functional)
or Transition requirement
- Criticality of the requirement – There are requirements
without which day to day operation would be hampered/would not be
possible, ones which would have a workaround, ones which can be pushed to
the next release etc. Understand how critical the requirement in question
- Business value of the requirement – Understand the value that
the requirement would bring about. Whether it is revenue growth/dollar
saving, entry to a new market segment, improvement to the usability /user
experience or something else.
- Effort/cost to implement
- Opportunity loss due to the lack of this requirement
- Based on the business value, the effort/cost to implement and
the opportunity loss, arrive at a value index which would be (business
value+ opportunity loss)/cost to implement
- Involve most of the stakeholders/all critical
stakeholders/stakeholder representation from most of the groups/units to
prioritize the requirements.
- Arrive at the value index with inputs from these
- Prioritize requirements using this value index.
- Publish the list of requirements as per the decision based on
the value to all the concerned stakeholders and users involved.
- Consider the MOSCOW matrix also for prioritization of
M – Must have
S – Should have
C – Could have
W – Won’t have
To conclude, prioritization may
be challenging but it is not something you can avoid.
the next time you prioritize requirements, keep these simple yet effective tips
am an entrepreneur, co-founder of Adaptive US, building my brand to be a
global name in the Business Analysis domain. My mission is to help business
analysts to build a successful professional career.
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Created on Feb 12th 2019 00:00. Viewed 457 times.