Where do projects come from and where are they going?

It was more or less 9 years ago when I first started programming work. Back then everything technical was new and exciting. It took some time before I started to pay attention to non-technical project work. I think the first issue I noticed years ago was requirement management. Or rather, the lack of it. Since then I have seen this issue, in one form or another,  affect negatively almost every project that I have worked in. Why is it so and can anything be done to improve the situation? I believe so.

In the heart of project requirement management there are two questions. Where does the project come from? Where is the project going? Answer to the first question tells us why the project exists at all. Usually there is someone who has a problem that needs to be solved or a need that should be fulfilled. I’ll call that someone the customer, he/she is one of the project stakeholders. The customer is a very special kind of stakeholder because he/she pays for the project work. This will usually, but not always, cause the customer to be interested in how the money is spent in the project. Answer to the second question tells us how we are going to fulfill the need or solve the problem, and how we are changing direction of the project when more knowledge accumulates.

Why are these questions so important?

If you are working in some kind of project oriented environment you probably know why. If so, please share your experience!

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2 comments so far

  1. Matti Katila on

    Well, sometimes there’s just a budget and no requirements!

  2. victor on

    Normally, everyone is able to answer the first question. The problem comes when trying to address the second one….many interested parties come into action and more often than not the needs of the customer are overshadowed by the many interets that are unrelated to the problem at hand. The actual problems are good enough to bring money into the coffers….once available somebody else other than the customer knows whats appripriate for the customer…they stope being project stakeholders!!!


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