Upon contacting our clients throughout projects we inevitably get to know about their previous experiences on developing digital products. We can assure you now how harmful an incomplete eliciting requirements phase can be. Of course, there is no clear 100% hand-guide on how to go through the called ideation phase as it strongly depends on the context of every project. Nevertheless, it is still possible to rule out some “do's and don’t's” on eliciting requirements. Here follows a handful of tips on the topic by our CEO Tomasz Gibas:
"We need to have a clear understanding of the requirements. Not technical requirements. These are just a side-effect of business discussions. You have to know what the purpose of the client to define with them the semi-goals that are to be achieved with your team and hence achieve or even surpass the RoI."
"The most failures reported by our clients that are coming to us after experiences with other I.T. partners are that projects were started without all the definitions, specifications & ideas from the very beginning. They already started delivering without having a full understanding of what they needed to achieve. That’s painful. This approach is unfortunately common in companies that have highly skilled I.T. staff but that lack understanding and experience of business."
An interdisciplinary approach is also a must from the client side. "The iteration of the collection of requirements has to include all stakeholders of the organization. The eCommerce board, management board, financial, logistics, legal, marketing...to create a single document that attends to all their needs. It might take up to 6 months depending on the size of your company and to the project itself."
"A common and different situation is when we “jump into” a project e.g. when we help clients to “resurrect” a failed project. We do not often have time to collect the information about the past. We need to close the gap between point B which is where they are currently and point A where they would like to be but are not due to reasons."
"When you have everything you need you will be sure you will not be “just delivering a website” or “just delivering an app” but delivering the expected actual value. Also, when your client feels that you definitely grasp their demand they will trust you. A relation of trust that goes both ways."