Why Requirements Gathering From Clients Can Be A Challenge?

If you’ve been in the client servicing business for any length of time, you would have seen the two-line requirements for projects from potential clients. And then followed by a request for a quote by the¬†end of the day.

To respond the right way, we need to first understand the reason behind such client requests.

Here’s why I think most clients don’t give you a detailed requirement:

Once a client has identified the vendor, they believe their job is done. They do not understand the importance of their involvement. Clients need to set the vision that will drive the project.

Requirements for projects are ultimately driven by business goals. Without articulated business goals, there is no guiding principle for a website or any outsourced project. These business goals are then to be translated into corresponding website KPIs and CTA.

Most people don’t factor the planning time into the equation. A lot of projects don’t start on time as a result of this. At Pixelmattic, we insist on getting clarity in requirements and planning for the project before jumping in.

With no clear roles or stakeholders defined within the organization to handle the project, you either end up with too many decision makers or none. Web development is a collaborative process that requires client inputs at regular intervals. This is a major reason projects miss their deadlines.

It’s a big misconception that requirements for projects have to be technical in nature. They can be, but they don’t need to start out being technical. The job of a good consultant or business analyst is to convert business needs into technical requirements that a designer or developer can use.

There is so much emphasis, even if it’s for negotiation purposes, on adhering to tight timelines. This sometimes results in clients trying to micromanage or wanting status updates on an hourly or daily basis. Focus on execution and not enough on planning or requirements is an investment with diminishing returns.

I’ve seen many companies, eager to close the opportunity and jump right into project implementation, only to end up fire-fighting issues mid-way through the project. That’s doing a disservice to the client and your own business.

I address this by educating our customers during the initial planning conversations. Our blog posts on the Pixelmattic website  explain why it takes time to plan and what goes into planning for a website. This gets reinforced again through our email marketing campaigns.

Requirements elicitation is an art that requires patience and the ability to ask the right questions. The onus is on the vendor to probe and get all the details necessary for a successful execution of the project.

If you’re in a similar business, how do you tackle it?



Photo credit: theimagegroup / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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