The Software Development Life Cycle, SDLC for short, is a well-defined, structured sequence of stages in software engineering to develop the intended software product.A framework that describes the activities performed at each stage of a software development project.
SDLC has a series of steps to be followed to design and develop a software product efficiently. The framework includes the following steps:
- Requirements Gathering
- Feasibility study
- System analysis
- Software design
- Operation and Maintenance
Requirements gathering is an essential part of any project and project management. Understanding fully what a project will deliver is critical to its success. Requirements gathering sounds like common sense, but surprisingly, it’s an area that is given far too little attention.
Many projects start with the barest headline list of requirements, only to find later the customer’s needs have not been adequately understood.
*10 Rules for Successful Requirements Gathering
To be successful in requirements gathering and to give your project an increased likelihood of success, follow these rules:
- Don’t assume you know what the customer wants – always ask.
- Involve the users from the start.
- Define and agree on the scope of the project.
- Ensure that the requirements are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic and Time-based.
- Gain clarity if there is any doubt.
- Create a clear, concise and thorough requirements document and share it with the customer.
- Confirm your understanding of the requirements alongside the customer (play them back).
- Avoid talking technology or solutions until the requirements are fully understood.
- Get the requirements agreed with the stakeholders before the project starts.
- Create a prototype, if necessary, to confirm or refine the customer’s requirements.
Be careful to avoid making these mistakes:
- Basing a solution on complex or cutting-edge technology and then discovering that it cannot easily be rolled out in the ‘real world’.
- Not prioritizing the requirements, for example, ‘must have’, ‘should have’, ‘could have’ and ‘would have’ – known as the MoSCoW principle.
- Insufficient consultation with real users and practitioners.
- Solving the ‘problem’ before you know what the problem is.
- Lacking a clear understanding and making assumptions rather than asking.
Requirements gathering is about creating a clear, concise and agreed set of customer requirements that allow you to provide what the customer wants.
To be continued…