Every project initiates with preliminary planning followed by Analysis/Design. But, why we do analysis? What is the actual purpose of requirements elicitation, documentation, identifying solution options, providing estimates and so on?
Why instead of spending time on analysis, we just build the required product and iteratively improve it?
Well, it may sound revolutionary idea, however, the reality is the that Analysis stage is the foundation of any project implementation.
In this post, I am sharing the purpose of Analysis.
Various stakeholders within the project needs certainty before committing to the major investment – ‘Development/Build Stage’
Let us see in bit more detail sort of clarity various project stakeholders require:
As a Board Member / Sponsor, I want to :
- get clarity required resources for the project, so that, I can source resources and allow budget
- get clarity if Business case still holds, so that, capital investment is justified
- get clarity on the solution, so that, board can ensure that the product would help us implementing our business strategy/plan
As a Project Manager, I want to:
- get clarity on scope, so that, I can determine project boundaries
- get clarity on number and type of resources required, so that, I can form the project team
- get clarity on number and type of effort required, so that, I can assign role and responsibilities to the project team
- get clarity on estimated effort (with at least 30% certainty), so that I can prepare project schedule, timeline and budget
- get clarity on key assumption during project initiation, so that, I can formalise the plan
- get clarity on key risks, so that, I can formulate risk management plan
- get clarity on key constraints, so that, I can formulate contingency plan
- get clarity on stakeholder expectations on quality and priorities, so that, I can formulate quality plan
As a Product Manager, I want to:
- get clarity on the proposed solution, so that, we can ensure that solution meets our business needs and the product will support our business in years to come
As a Project SMEs/Super User/Senior user, I want to:
- develop common understanding about problem and solution options to ensure solution options are fit for purpose
Similarly, clarity is required by other stakeholders like Solution/Business Architects, Change Managers, Business Analysis, Supplier Sponsor and so on.
Purpose of Anlysis: To move from ambiguity to ‘relative’ clarity
The bottom line is that Analysis is foundation on which project will be delivered. Before any major investment, every project stakeholder wants clarity on various aspects of the project. This helps stakeholders to identify risks, limitations, constraints, assumptions and take appropriate steps through out the project. It helps to facilitate stakeholder’s decision making process. For example, if business should continue investment? Which technology should be implemented? Which resources should be deployed etc.?
From clarity, project team gets clear direction for the project delivery.