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Business Requirements Analysis
Functional Requirements

Need to complete business requirements analysis for an information management requirements specification and want practical timesaving suggestions?

Do we need requirements?Business Requirements Analysis

Yes, even data centric information management projects may have requirements for things such as:
  • Data steward interface, for data quality;
  • Functional requirements for decision support tools; and
  • User requirements for business intelligence reporting.
Are these covered in reporting requirements?

Not really! Business intelligence and decision support requirements will define the data requirements. We may still need complete business  requirements analysis to define other requirements.

What types of requirements might apply?

Consider things like:
  • What data should the interface access?
  • What functionality should the interface perform?
  • What should happen to bad data that cannot be corrected by the user interface?
  • How will reference data be loaded for data quality validation purposes?
  • Should data be extracted to PC’s for off-line analysis purposes?
  • Should data be extracted to a spreadsheet format and be down loadable?
  • Are there report distribution requirements?
  • If yes, who should receive the reports, when should they be sent and how e.g. email?
  • Are there requirements to create “master” queries?
  • If so, who should be allowed to create them?
  • Who should be allowed to use them?
  • Who needs to validate them?
  • How many should be allowed for each user?
  • What are purge requirements for master queries?
  • Etc.
How do we record requirements?

Requirements must be stated in a non-ambiguous, understandable manner. They must be in sufficient detail that a solution can be fully designed, specified, assembled/built, tested and moved into production to the satisfaction of end users and business owner. 

All requirements must be measurable/quantifiable, testable and in sufficient detail to allow for independent and objective validation or verification of compliance.

The method of measurement should be agreed upon up-front.  Each requirement must contribute, even if indirectly, to the project objectives stated in the business case. 

Requirements that cannot tie back to a project objective are not relevant, and should be discarded. 

Sign-off indicates that the signers have reviewed, and agree to, requirements as identified in the requirements specification.  

Each requirement must link back to a business objective stated in the business case and should be:
  • Unambiguous;
  • Correct;
  • Testable;
  • Achievable;
  • Design independent;
  • Traceable;
  • Necessary; and
  • Documented.
A completed requirements specification is an agreement between end users, the business owner, the IT owner and the project manager.

Approval signifies that the end users and business owner agree that the document specifies all functional requirements.

It is important to include all requirements as any changes requested after sign-off/approval must be treated as a change request and should be handled by the change request process specified in the requirements management plan.

Summary…

Information management projects are data centric but may still have functional requirements. It is essential that an experienced business intelligence analyst work closely with the business team to complete business requirements analysis early in the project.




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