Three Simple Mistakes That Will Negatively Impact Your Requirements

2 minute read

As important as it is to track requirements throughout the development process to make sure the right product is being built, tracking doesn’t matter if the requirements are wrong from the start of the requirements gathering process.

If requirement mistakes aren’t fixed in a timely manner, errors will likely show up in the final product, leading to costly rework, missed deadlines and potentially threatening the release of the project itself. Often times, it’s not a technical problem or tool that can send things in a downward spiral; it’s simple human error.

That’s why it’s important to focus on getting requirements right before any work actually
begins. Here are three common issues that can doom initial requirements and throw a product off schedule.

1. He Said She Said

Humans have communications problems. When requirements are initially getting relayed
from key stakeholders through interviews or discussions, the propensity for miscommunication is high.

Our minds do all sorts of different tricks to make sense of information, and everyone has different blind spots. We can draw conclusions, ignore information, make assumptions, generalize and oversimplify.

All of these common practices of interpreting information can introduce errors during the requirements gathering process with stakeholders, but it doesn’t end there.

2. Bad Language

We’re not talking about profanity. This is vague and ambiguous words and phrases that can make their way into requirements and leave a lot of information open to interpretation.

Just think about the difference between a boardroom round table where everyone is giving
their opinions on a product’s proposed functionality and the distillation of those ideas into a formal written document. There’s so much that gets lost when we go from talking to typing: no voice inflections, tones or pauses for emphasis. The Leaner MVP is the tool that prevents this from happening.

The subtleties of communicated language need to be taken into account when requirements are written, so it’s extremely clear for the next reader what needs to be built and why.

3. Needless Distractions

During the review process for initial requirements, it’s easy to get caught up in superficialities and miss the real dangers.

For example, if you’re spending too much time fixing minor grammatical errors, you can wind up in a scenario where you’re wasting more energy critiquing the writer of the requirements than really taking a thorough look at the actual technical asks being made.

If you only pay attention to the surface level of the requirements, you risk missing major
liabilities that could be sitting just beneath the words themselves. Luckily, the Leaner MVP can
help clear up the language for you, so you can focus on the technical detail.

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