The Business Requirement | Just like Dungeons & Dragons?

Understanding The Nature of the Business Requirement

Firstly, the term Business Requirement are described here in the context of Business Stakeholders who provide their requirements for a business solution. This solution can be a technology solution, business process solution or a combination of both. In this article we refer to this type of requirement as “a Business Requirement” and yes, the BABOK® refers to these types of requirements as “Stakeholder Requirements”…but hey, let’s go what with most people are familiar with.

Why Is It Important To Understand The Nature Of The Business Requirement?

Perhaps I can explain the reasons for understanding the nature of the business requirement with a metaphor:

Imagine you are playing a computer game for the very first time. You are on a quest to save the princess but no one has given you a map or even a photo of what the princess that you must save looks like. When you start out on your quest you may think that you just need to find the map and then follow the signs to the tower where the princess will be waiting. Soon however, you discover that you cannot find the map, there are all kinds of fantasy creatures stopping you along the way with ideas on how to save the princess. None of them can give you the map and you soon discover they don’t all tell the truth or even know whether there is a princess. As you progress though this quest, you realize that some of the fantasy creatures offering ideas and direction are valid and true and some are based on completely different quests and not even relevant to yours. As you think you are getting closer to the tower where you expect to find the princess, you see the tower is not a tower at all but rather a dungeon with it’s own set of challenges, riddles and problems to overcome. It suddenly changes your approach and direction for saving the princess and then just before you reach the goal, you realize that the princess is not a princess at all but rather a fantasy of the dragon in the dungeon!

Let’s now look at the three main attributes of the nature of a Business Requirement and this will help you understand why it is important to know a little more before you embark on trying to manage your business requirements effectively on a project.

3 Essential Attributes To Understand About The Nature Of Business Requirements:

#1:  Change:

The most prominent and common attribute of Business Requirements are that they are very prone to change. This statement doesn’t mean that all requirements will always change but simply that some business requirements will always change and in some cases the changes will result in significant impacts on the work that you are doing as a Business Analyst. In some cases there will be minor change and this will not affect your work as much at all. So simply be aware that Business Requirements are likely to change as you progress through a project and therefore you must be adaptable and flexible enough with your methodology (whether this is an Agile or Traditional methodology) to cater for change.

#2: Validity:

Just like in the metaphor, there are a lot of people who ask for business requirements to be included in your Business Requirement package. You need to be aware that some of these business requirements may not be valid at all and some of these business requirements may be valid but may need more analysis before they are included. So it is important that you are clear on the business requirement meaning, purpose and how it adds to the project’s objective.

#3: Priority:

There are many different aspects to assigning a priority to a business requirement and regardless of how you chose to assign priority they must all have a priority assigned. This is why it is important to understand the objectives for the project very clearly (know as much as possible about the princess before you embark on the quest!) in order to make sure that each business requirement is prioritized to ensure you achieve the project’s objectives.

When you understand these very essential attributes about the nature of Business Requirements it will go a long way in helping you manage your Business Requirement set effectively
and with purpose regardless on endless change.

If you would like to learn more about Requirements, have a look at this Online Requirements Expert Course.