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How do you successfully plan a project?

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MOBA as a supplier of high technology applications for off-road machines uses in general two documents to kick off a new project: requirements and specifications.

Requirements are regularly submitted by customers, explaining the problem, desired outcome and features in mind.

Specifications are a detailed description of requirements in e.g. design and material. They are generally done by or with the help of the development department.

Requirements:

What kind of information is necessary and, most importantly, what information is not needed.

The list should contain all requirements for the product or system that will be developed.

There is a distinction to be made between functional and nonfunctional requirements.

Functional requirements are:

  • - Who is the key user of the product?
  • - What are the key functions of the product?
  • - Which interfaces are necessary?
  • - How is the reaction of the system in error cases?

Nonfunctional requirements are:

  • - Which standards must be observed?
  • - Which materials should be used?
  • - What is the form?
  • - How is the handling in case of service/repair?

All requirements should be described without offering a technical solution. Short sentences and listings of only one requirement are preferable. Each requirement receive an ID.

There are 3 key words to categorize the requirements:

  • - Must be/Have to be
  • - Should be
  • - Can be (nice to have)

So, the document contains all requirements for the product, but doesn't offer a solution yet!

Who should be in charge of documenting the requirements?

For customized products, the customer itself often provides the requirements documentation.

If products get developed for a specific market, then product management together with sales is responsible for the requirements documentation.

Specifications:

The specification document is the technical solution and the answer to the requirements from the development side. It is important that all requirements are addressed, and appropriate responses are formulated. For this reason, the use of unique IDs is helpful.

The specification should be set up in such a way that all points of the product can be marked off in the qualification process.

A solid specification is the base of any successful development.

The specification always requires approval by the customer or product management.

The release specification is the validated version used by the developer. The specification document serves as an instruction manual; changes or expansion of the specification by the developer is not allowed. Unnecessary delays of the project or additional costs could otherwise occur.

Who writes the specification?

The specification is created by the corresponding development team in the project. Often it is a collaboration of the development department and the project management.

Conclusion:

A detailed requirement and specification documentation are inevitable for running a successful project. MOBA is planning its projects in that manner for quite a long time now, and it has been proven to be an excellent method for cost-effective and efficient project planning.

aholleyn 05.10.2016 0 1244
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