communication techniques

Requirement Communication

Requirements are the spine to any project. The more precisely requirements are gathered and analyzed; the more effective becomes the implementation. Thus it is important for a Business analyst to understand all the details of the requirements shared by business owners and subject matter experts and more importantly communicate the same to different stakeholders on time to avoid any delays in the implementation. Communication is one of the pillars of the project and it helps in explaining the tasks and responsibilities to different stakeholders. Business analyst being a bridge between different stakeholders is responsible for managing the requirements throughout the project life cycle. Proper and on-time communication of the requirements helps the stakeholders to reach the common understanding and which results in on-time and hassle-free implementation.

Requirements once elicited, analyzed and documented should be communicated to different stakeholders to maintain the authenticity of the same. Business analyst manages the requirements throughout the project life-cycle, thus it becomes his core responsibility that everyone involved in the project implementation should know the details of the requirements. The documents prepared with the requirements (functional and non-functional) details should be validated from the business sponsors. Solution design and assessment is done on the basis of the requirements elicited and thus it’s very critical that the designers and architects should know about the requirements and variations as the design is completely influenced by the nature of the requirements. There are certain methods followed by different business analysts to communicate the requirements including presentation and workshops but the end result is to convey the meaning and the stakeholders should be able to understand all the details.

Business analysts should understand the importance of the requirement communication and plan the techniques as per the requirements of the recipients to avoid any conflicts. Below are few pointers for requirement communications:

  • Easy to understand:  It is widely accepted fact that no two individuals can think in the same way and thus the ability of understanding or grasping the details differs from persons to persons. Business analysts should understand this and try to convey the message in more understandable formats. He should keep in mind that the business owners are not worried about the technical details instead they relate most of the scenarios with the profit and loss graphs. On the other hand the development or implementation team needs details on more technical grounds. Thus to balance the communication is the prime duty of the BA. Most BAs prefer to prepare the requirements package in an appropriate way to ensure that the details are effectively communicated and well understood. This package also covers the details of “Who does what” and thus the stakeholders understand their responsibilities to bridge all the gaps.

 

  • Techniques: Depending on the habits different BAs prefer different ways or methods to convey the details of the requirements and these formats or techniques get changed with the scenario. The details are designed with the help of the business plans, requirements elicited, analyzed and documented and prepared requirements packages. The target audience should always be considered before finalizing the techniques of the communication including presentations, workshops, modelling, conference calls etc.


  • 3W concept: Every requirement communication should fit the 3W concept. The 3 W’s refer to: WHO, WHAT and WHEN. BAs should fulfil the criteria of 3Ws as explained below:
    • Who should be included in the communication? This covers the details of the stakeholders who should be communicated about the requirements and the variations.
    • What details are to be communicated? This covers the details of the requirement package for effective communication
    • When to initiate the communication? This is very important as the BA should know when he has to start the communication as different stakeholders’ responsibilities are confirmed only after the details are communicated.

The 3W concept is further described well in 3R concept which evolved as the pillars of effective requirement communication. The 3Rs in  this theory resemble to:

Right People

Right Thing

Right Time

It explains the right things to be included in the communication and the message should be sent to right people at right time.

Requirements are considered as ever changing till the project is gone live and hence communication is the key to manage requirements. Business analysts or whoever wearing the hat of a business analyst must ensure that there should be no gap in the communication and all the stakeholders are at the same level of understanding related to the requirements.

Happy Reading!!!

3 thoughts on “Requirement Communication”

  1. Hi Aniket… it was wonderful reading this article…
    The only challenge i face is to communicate the requirement for an offshore development team. Also it would be great if you throw some light on requirement tracking.

    1. Hi Nutan,
      Thanks for giving time in reading the article.
      Requirement tracking is nothing but keeping track of change in requirements. It is advised to maintain a traceability matrix to track the changes. Further I would soon share more details in other articles, till then happy learning..

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