Requirements Measurement Plan

Quick Summary
It takes clear, unambiguous requirements to guide the team to the right result. Creating a plan to measure the requirements, in addition to the project work, insures you aren't handing off muddy requirements that will cause confusion and rework later in the project.

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What this is

This template is designed to help you think through how you will ensure that the documented requirements meet the expectations of your stakeholders, both in content and in quality. Requirements measurements are traditionally used by business analysts and presented to key stakeholders, including project team members and business stakeholders, to ensure consistent expectations. But this technique can be used by any member of a project team to ensure useful, measureable requirements during the requirements definition and management process. This template includes two sections: the plan for measuring the requirements, and a record of the results.

Requirements measurement is only a portion of the full set of requirements management, so this template can work in conjunction with a full Requirements Management Plan or stand on its own.

Why it's useful

Ultimately, the success of the project or solution will be evaluated based on how well it meets the documented requirements, so it is imperative that the requirements themselves be clear, unambiguous, and accurate. Part of the requirements planning process is ensuring that you've thought through how you'll measure the requirements, and how you'll demonstrate that they meet stakeholder expectations. A requirements measurement plan ensures a methodical approach to requirements measurement and quality assurance. Setting expectations up front about the quality levels and measurements of requirements has several benefits:

  • Greater comfort and confidence level from key stakeholders. If they know you're planning to measure and improve requirements quality up front, they'll have more confidence in the process.
  • Reduced likelihood of missed or misinterpreted requirements. If thoroughness and clarity are part of the measurement process, you can ensure comprehensive and unambiguous requirements. This will reduce the need to go back and clarify or rework requirements during development or testing, and in turn reduce the risk of cost overruns for the project.
  • Better estimates of the time needed for requirements activity. If you plan ahead for time to measure the requirements—and to correct them, if needed—you won't be scrambling to complete unexpected requirements rework later in the project.
  • Increased reusability of requirements. The higher the quality of the requirements, the easier it will be to reuse them for future initiatives with confidence and minimal rework.

How to use it

  1. Break down the requirements. Determine how you will group requirements. Will you use the same categorization as in the Requirements Management Plan? Will you measure them in delivered packages, such as requirements documents? Consider ease of measurement as well as logical timing when making this decision.
  2. Figure out who is involved. Identify who will measure the requirements, as well as who needs to review/approve the measurement plan and the results.
  3. Plan to be thorough. Stay methodical, and plan your requirements measurement carefully.
  4. Live it. Follow through with the plan, document the results of the measurements, and take appropriate corrective action when necessary.
About the Author

Sinikka L. Waugh, PMP, is the founder and head coach of the project management coaching firm Your Clear Next Step, L.L.C. Sinikka is an actively practicing project management consultant, known for consistently helping teams find innovative ways to leverage effective project strategies across multiple disciplines and technologies. With over 10 years in project roles (primarily program manager, project manager, and business analyst) Sinikka has successfully applied project and leadership expertise to improve project performance in a wide variety of industries, including publishing, education, product fulfillment and distribution, insurance, event and travel management, human resources, and financial services. As a coach, Sinikka's down-to-earth, "try this now" approach blends with her passion for helping others improve. Her energetic and engaging style helps make both the art and science of project management accessible to those she works with.

Sinikka holds a BA from Central College, an MA from the University of Iowa, and is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute.

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