5.2 Collect Requirements

"The process of determining, documenting and managing stakeholder needs and requirements to meet project objectives."

The definition shown in italics is taken from the Glossary of the Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Figure 5-4 Page 111

Collect Requirements:

  • Provides the basis for defining and managing the project and product scope
  • The exam assumes you plan before you act (just like Deming) Requirements include:
    • Conditions or capabilities to be met by the final product
    • Details on product, functionality, features, attributes, validation
  • Need to be obtained, analysed, prioritised and approved by stakeholders

Where do you get this information from?

  • The start point is what is contained in the Project Charter (4.1 Develop the Project Charter – during Initiating)
  • Who to go to comes from the Stakeholder Register and the Stakeholder Management Plan (13.1 Identify Stakeholders – during Initiating)

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Page 112

Understanding Requirements

Different Types of Requirements

- Business Requirements – higher level business needs

  • Business objectives, vision, strategic alignment, “business need or no need” and set the scope of a business problem to be solved

- Stakeholder Requirements

- Solution Requirements - the "What" in system language

  • "Functional requirements" of the solution to be built – the behaviours of the product
  • Non-functional requirements – the environmental conditions or qualities required for the product to be effective (reliability; performance; security; safety; service levels; support requirements)
  • Transition, Project and Quality requirements

Types of Requirements

  • Some stakeholders requirements may be mutually exclusive or difficult to provide, therefore the project may not be able to provide them.
  • These should be raised with the stakeholders concerned for resolution before the requirements documentation can be finalized
  • Requirements are prioritized, agreed and then used to devise and agree the acceptance tests and their arrangements.

Tools and Techniques - 1


  • Typically one to one conversations

Focus Groups

  • Conducted by a trained moderator
  • Subject matter experts and stakeholder participation key

Facilitated Workshops

  • Allow key cross-functional stakeholders to define product/project features and to reconcile differences
  • Need representatives from all affected functions to ensure all user needs are captured
  • Examples include JAD (Joint Application Development), RAD (Rapid Application Development), QFD (Quality Function Deployment)

Group Creativity Techniques


  • Records all possible options/solutions without judgment, then evaluates the project/product requirements.

Nominal Group Technique:

  • “Enhances brainstorming with a voting process to rank ideas”

Delphi Technique:

  • Questionnaires are sent to experts: anonymous responses are compiled, prioritized, and sent back, a method for building consensus.

Idea/Mind Mapping:

  • A graphical method to consolidate brainstormed ideas; show “commonality and differences”; “generate new ideas”

Affinity Diagram:

  • Gathering “lots of ideas and sorting them into groups”, and analyzing them to identify patterns within data

Multi Criteria Decision Analysis:

  • Provides a systematic analytical approach using a decision matrix
  • To establish multiple criteria
  • Evaluate and rank numerous ideas or factors (e.g. particular risks, risk levels)

Group Decision Making Techniques

Unanimity - Everyone agrees on a single course of action

Majority/Consensus - Support from more than 50% of the group members

Plurality - Largest block

Dictatorship - Single decision maker

Questionnaires and Surveys


  • a research instrument
  • a series of questions and other prompts to gather information


  • a method for collecting quantitative information about items in a population
  • questionnaires improve the number and accuracy of responses to surveys

Tools and Techniques - 2


  • Carrying out observations to identify the different needs
  • Fly on the wall; looking over the shoulder


  • Building a prototype to help the stakeholder(s) /users:
    • To visualize and crystallize the end result or an intermediate state
    • Provide feedback on it


  • Identifying best in class organisations and what they do, to implement back at base and make improvements

Context Diagrams

  • Visually show the product scope by showing a business system and what interacts with it

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NDE_Context_Diagram.jpg

Document Analysis

  • Analysing documents against requirements


Requirements Documentation:

  • Progressively elaborated record: how each requirement meets the business need, explicit, measurable, accepted in writing

Requirements Traceability Matrix:

  • linking requirements to their origin
  • tracking them over the project lifecycle
  • giving a structure for managing scope changes
  • acceptance criteria


Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Fifth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2013 Figure 5-6 Page 119

Prioritising Requirements - MOSCOW

Must Have Requirements - otherwise business need is not met

Should Have Requirements - which if omitted will compromise system functionality

Can Have requirements - that if included will add benefits

Won't Have - requirements that do not serve the business purpose

Business Requirements for a University Restaurant


  • Pre-ordered meal deliveries to departmental customers must be completed between 10:00am and 2:00pm GMT.
  • All meals in a single order must be delivered to the same location.
  • Meals must be ordered 1 day before delivery and chosen from the online menu
  • Menus can be modified provided that notice of one month is given
  • Daily demand must cater for 25% vegetarian and 5% vegan


  • Capability for serving 2000 customers simultaneously in the 4 seating areas and from the 6 food counters, with a minimum of 12 serving staff
  • All meals fully compliant with food hygiene and FDA regulations

...The business requirements dissect the project into each functional requirement and describes how it works and the dependencies involved in making it work


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