What Is a Requirements Gathering Template? (With Examples)
Updated January 19, 2023
When team members have the requirements for a project, it serves as a guide towards executing the project. Any project a team is about to undertake has a list of specific requirements that describes the role that team members are supposed to play in achieving the goal. Understanding the gathering process for requirements for a project can significantly increase your ability to develop a comprehensive list that makes the entire project process well-organized. In this article, we define requirements gathering, explore the importance of requirements gathering, and highlight some types of requirements gathering templates.
What are requirements gathering templates?
Requirements gathering templates are a framework or format that allow you to enter a list of the requirements needed to execute a project. This document can be separated or added into the project plan. The template is a table with five columns and as many rows as you want. The data entries for the column are:
The requirements gathering template is the foundation of any project. It records vital information and connects the project team members with the client. Since the template already has the data required, it's easy for project managers to develop requirements for any upcoming project.
What is requirements gathering?
The gathering of requirements is the process of creating a comprehensive inventory of project requirements. The project requirements are the resources, activities, and functions that project managers expect team members to perform to complete the project successfully. A vital way project managers gather resources is by discussing with clients, major stakeholders of a company, and the team members. The discussion aims to discover what each party expects from the project. In addition, project managers can conclude on what they may require to ensure that the project's outcome satisfies the stakeholders.
Types of requirements gathering
Project requirements may vary, and it depends on the project and the nature of the company involved. Some companies often gather requirements before starting any project, such as companies that offer digital-related services. Project managers can gather resources before any project, irrespective of the company's nature. A project manager can gather requirements using these categories:
A functional requirement describes what the products can do or offer. This requirement usually relates to a product's quality and features. For example, project managers use this category to define the composition of a product or its structure.
This category differs from functional requirements because it focuses on how a product operates. The nonfunctional requirements relate to the performance attribute of a product. For example, a project manager can use this category to define a product's performance, the data recovery process, or scalability.
Importance of requirements gathering
Project managers that gather requirements before starting projects tend to complete the project on time. Most project managers use requirements gathering templates to effectively gather project requirements. Here are some of the importance of requirements gathering:
It guides decision making towards successful projects
It sets a defined target for team members to aim for
It helps to define a project's scope during scope management
It helps to make the whole project process run seamlessly
It helps to establish an understanding between the client and the company on the quality of the project
How to use the requirements gathering procedure
As a project manager, understanding the requirements for a project helps you assign tasks and resources that can deliver the expected outcome. You can follow these steps to gather requirements for a project effectively:
The stakeholders are a group of people that the project considers essential for smooth running. Depending on the nature of a project, there are two significant classifications of stakeholders. They are the internal and external stakeholders. An internal stakeholder can be the company's executive leadership, project manager, or team members, while the external stakeholder can be the contractor or client. As a project manager, before you gather requirements, it's essential that you identify the individuals that the project's outcome can affect.
Establish the project's goals
You can record a brief overview of the goals the company may like to accomplish during the conversation with the stakeholders. Before you gather a project's requirements, you can establish the goals for the project. Goals are the project manager's tools for measuring the desired result of the project, while the objectives are the tasks that team members are to complete to accomplish all the set goals.
As a project manager, establishing the project's goals helps build a solid structure that can help you when you're gathering requirements. Suppose a team might want to create a platform for educating their company's staff, the team may develop requirements for smooth user access and a superior user experience with that goal in mind. It's possible to utilize the set goals to review the validity of probable provisions.
Make notes on project requirements
Taking notes during every requirement gathering conversation helps you keep your information in order and record every important detail. When you have a detailed note, as a project manager, it allows you to share accurate information with members after stakeholder meetings. You can also compare team members' suggestions with the established objectives when you record them correctly. This comparison can help everyone involved identify improvements or discuss issues related to the requirements.
Create a formal document for requirements
After discussing and confirming your requirement notes with stakeholders and team members, you can start creating a document. The document can highlight the formal requirements. You can use a requirements gathering template to help you understand how to structure the document appropriately. The document typically requires this information:
Identification number: Identification number is optional in the requirements document. Occasionally, you may find yourself with a long list of requirements, but you can use the identification number to structure the document.
Requirement name: Provide a special name that makes it easy for team members and stakeholders to identify what the requirements name represents. This helps the document appear understandable to the members involved with the project.
Description: Prepare a quick summary of the requirements that you have listed. You can also give an overview of the outcomes you're interested in achieving by executing the requirement.
Category: When you assign categories to a document, you can sort related items. A good example is creating a "user interface category" for multiple user interface-related requirements.
Additional notes: You can include a note section to type information that you think applies to the requirements. The information in the notes section can be such as necessary tools, roles, or questions.
Review the requirements with team members
You can share a blueprint of the requirements document with the members once you've completed it. Call for a meeting to review details and get opinions on the requirements you have gathered. Encourage discussions to ensure that everyone knows the project's stakeholders' expectations. Your team members are the ones that usually perform the objectives, and so their input is essential. This assessment aims to produce a neater version of the requirements document.
You can assign the tasks to team members during this stage. Team members can volunteer to perform some tasks, or as a project manager, you can assign the tasks based on their ability and expertise. Publicly sharing the duties helps to ensure accountability.
Present the project requirement document to stakeholders
Finally, you can submit the project's completed requirements document to key stakeholders in the company. During this meeting, stakeholders can go through each requirement to ensure they meet their needs. Creating a presentation for the requirements highlights the fact that you value the stakeholders' input. The presentation can also serve as an opportunity for you to see if you can make any changes to the project.
Monitor your progress
Project managers start the requirements gathering process at the beginning of a project, providing team members with a framework and guidelines. The requirements gathering process lasts as long as the project lasts. As the project begins, you may discover that you want to adjust, add, or remove requirements. If you change the document or requirements, communicate them to relevant stakeholders to keep them updated on the project's progress.
Requirements gathering template
You can use this template as a guide to documenting requirements during the requirement gathering process:
The usage of ID numbers can prove to be very helpful if you have a long list of requirements. The ID number can contribute to a more organized list. The requirement names may be familiar words that the stakeholders and team members may have previously worked with. You can endeavour to make them familiar. A brief description of the requirement and provision of insight into the possible outcomes. Attach categories to related requirements.[You can use this section to list any additional information such as questions or roles.
Example of requirements gathering
The example below shows how you can utilize the template above. You can use this example as a guide for gathering documentation:
1.1 Menu: This appears at the top of website pages to help users.
Navigation: The dropdown menu directs you to the "About us" or "Blog" pages.
1.2 Sign-up: The users can use it to input their payment information or contact details. User interface
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