When starting a project, requirements gathering is a key step that must be completed before truly kicking off the project. It’s the important step where you discover the business’s project requirements and make a solid plan that works as a loss prevention method and will allow you to move forward without wasting any time or money while working on the project (NMG 2016). This step includes the business requirements, the user requirements, and the system requirements. I am going to discuss requirements gathering from my perspective working for a small digital marketing agency.
Gathering business requirements includes gathering information and content on your client’s branding, objectives, target user, and the client’s overall needs for the product. This elicitation step should be as detailed as possible because all decisions moving forward will be based on information gathered from this step (Mochal, 2008). When creating a website or other branded content for a client in my company, we have to find out what we have and what we need from the client (Kelly, 2015). Are they seasoned in their industry and have a set logo, brand guide, and other content or are we going to reach out to our graphic design and copywriting partners to get the brand started? What is the client looking to accomplish with the digital project/product and who are they looking to attract?
Gathering user requirements means gathering information on what the users need to have a good experience with the product. This is where you begin planning a sitemap, wireframe a layout, take into consideration the kind of device it will be accessed from, and how it will be used (Kelly, 2015). The customer journey from landing page to contact page/checkout page/ etc. should be carefully thought through.
In the system requirements stage, you hash out how you can accomplish the user requirements and business requirements using a system. Technical details such as compatibility, CMS, and site hosting come into question (Kelly, 2015). The CMS used, if one is used, may need to be first and foremost equipped for e-commerce, in which case you may look at something like Shopify. If e-commerce is not an issue, or if it is only a section of your main site, you may decide to use a CMS like WordPress with either a WooCommerce or Shopify plugin. What you decided you need in the business requirements and user requirements stages must now be planned out according to what systems you have available to you.
10 Methods for Requirements Gathering:
- One-on-one Interviews
- Group Interviews
- Facilitated Sessions
- Join Application Development
- Use Cases
- Following People Around
- Request for Proposals
Kelly, Brooke. 2016. Intro to Requirements Gathering. Delphic Digital Retrieved from http://www.delphicdigital.com/blog/intro-to-requirements-gathering
Mochal, Tom. 2008. 10 Techniques for Gathering Requirements http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-techniques-for-gathering-requirements/
2016. Requirement Gathering: How We Solve the Biggest Problems with Consulting., NMG Retrieved from https://nmgtechnologies.com/requirement-gathering-solve-biggest-problems-consulting.html