This past week, The Project Management Institute released results of a study on one of our favorite topics – the importance of requirements. PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® In-Depth Report on Requirements Management will hopefully serve as a wakeup call and provide some strong justification to the many organizations who are searching for solutions to project and performance improvement. This is a comprehensive report that touches on many facets of the business analysis profession and requirements management maturity. Aaron Smith, the author of the study, provides a thorough analysis and strong statistical evidence that Requirements Definition and Management (RDM) remains as critical and necessary for project success as it ever has.
While the report does not specifically mention or differentiate results across methodologies and project types, we know that today’s IT projects and programs vary extensively in their development and implementation approaches i.e. off-the shelf software, SaaS, complex integrated systems, mobile apps, agile, lean development, etc. We are pleased to see actual results that back up the IAG Business Analysis Benchmark and our industry surveys that attention to good requirements leads to less failed projects of all shapes and sizes.
The report echoes many studies that place inaccurate requirements as a primary cause project failure (stated in 37% of organizations) and highlights that regardless of this key finding:
- less than half of organizations report having adequate resources involved in requirements and business analysis,
- one in three are not doing enough to develop skills and competency in RDM, and
- almost 90% feel their requirements processes and practices are not good enough.
On the plus side, 50-60% of organizations are actively involved in making improvements. However this still falls short given 87% of organization believe they need to improve their requirements processes and practices.
The findings lead to an obvious contradiction – especially with high performing organizations recognizing tangible benefits of defining and managing requirements: While two thirds of organizations understand (what to us insiders is so blatantly clear) that good requirements are critical for project and business performance, approximately one third of executives and sponsors still don’t fully value defining requirements for their programs and projects.
This report should be an open call to executive management to urgently and actively support the practice of requirements management (RDM) in their programs.
In whatever initiative you undertake, make sure you are defining and continuously managing your goals, objectives, needs, and requirements to drive your selection, modifications, and development decisions, and to manage your performance.
And as this report concludes, it is a focus on people, processes and culture that will ensure that requirements management is a core competency for project and program success.
To download this report for free, click here: http://www.pmi.org/~/media/PDF/Knowledge%20Center/PMI-Pulse-Requirements-Management-In-Depth-Report.ashx