Writing requirements for a request or project seems to scare people. Maybe it is the word “requirements” that makes people want to run the other way. But, requirements are just the basics of the request or project that you need. If you or someone in your organization is having a hard time getting their requirements written, put it in simpler terms and employ the 5 W’s.
- Who. Who needs the service, product, or enhancement? Which client, department, or customer needs this?
- What. What exactly should the end result be? What should the service, product, or enhancement provide?
- When. When does the project need to be complete? When is the deadline?
- Where. Where should the service be available, product be for sale, or the enhancement go (in which system)?
- Why. Why is this necessary? Does it not exist currently? Will it drive revenue? Will it fill a particular need or gap? What is the reason behind the need?
Lastly and a very important thing to remember is not to include the “how”. The “how” is up to the person performing the work to provide the service, product, or enhancement that you are requesting. Just remember, there is no “H” in the 5 W’s.
If you just use these 5 W’s when you or your team is asked to provide requirements, you will give them the basics of what you need.
Originally published on Experts Pages on 10/23/13