MANAGING PROJECTS IN ORGANIZATIONS J.D. FRAME
Making Certain the Project Is Based on a Clear Need • Chapter 4 • Reviewed by Regina Smith
Identifying and resolving problems associated with formulating customer needs.
The Needs/Requirements Life Cycle • Needs Emergence Phase • Needs Recognition Phase • Needs Articulation Phase • Functional Requirements • Technical Requirements
Needs Emergence Phase • Internal Needs • Improving organizational performance • business reengineering • External Needs • environmentally generated needs • more powerful computers • better tasting food
Needs Recognition Phase • recognize the need for what it is • make a conscious effort • establish procedures to do it systematically • focus on existing and future needs • forecasting • scenario building • Anticipate future emergence of needs
Needs Articulation Phase • An in-depth scrutiny of the recognized need. • Looking below the surface • Stipulate in concrete terms what is needed to achieve it.
Five steps to articulate the need • Ask customer to define the need as clearly as possible. • Ask a full set of questions about the need. • Conduct a complete research effort to enable you to better understand the need. • After the first three steps, formulate the need as best you can. • Ask the customers to respond to your formulation, then revise it as needed.
Functional Requirements • Describing the characteristics of what you plan to deliver. • Described in ordinary language for the lay person. • Use graphic images to strengthen it.
Technical Requirements • emerge from the functional requirements • written for the technical person.
Pitfalls in Defining Needs • Problems with inherently fuzzy needs • Problems with identifying solutions before the needs have been fully defined. • Problems with addressing the needs of the wrong customer.
Pitfall one - Dealing with inherently Fuzzy Needs • Two characteristics. • Needs are dynamic • needs are rarely understood by the customer.
Dynamic Needs • Changing players. • Changing budgets. • Changing technology. • Resolution • Avoid casting needs in concrete. • Be aware of the changing nature of needs.
Misunderstood Needs • Customer may not fully understand the need and the implications • Project Staff must: • recognize guide the customer • help customer identify their need clearly.
Pitfall Two - Identifying Solutions Prematurely • Short cutting the needs articulation process • Articulation process is an evolutionary process. • Leave options open
Pitfall Three - Addressing the Needs of the Wrong Customers • Sort out the needs of multiple customers • Establish priorities by creating a needs hierarchy using a small cross -functional team of staff. • Distorting the Customers Needs.
Distorting the Customers Needs • Gold - Plating of needs. • Selective filtering of customers needs by injecting your own personal bias. • Practicing the father-knows-best approach to needs recognition and articulation