Before we answer that question lets look at some industry statistics.
According to the Standish Group (over 352 companies reporting on over 8000 projects):
- 31% of all software projects are canceled before completion
- 53% of all projects will cost 189% of the original estimate
- 9% of projects are delivered on time and on budget (in large companies)
- 16% of projects are delivered on time and on budget (in small companies)
- Lack of user input or participation - 12%
- Incomplete Requirements and Specifications - 12.3%
- Changing requirements and Specifications - 11.8%
To answer our question stated previously, what can a Project Manager do to reduce requirements errors?
Try the following:
- Structured requirements gathering meetings
- Walkthroughs and reviews of requirements with end users and customers
- Better organization and documentation of requirements
- Improved project progress reporting
- Improved requirements-based testing and requirements tracability
If you will implement the above suggestions you can reduce requirements errors by 20% or more. Any reduction in requirements errors will help to significantly reduce project cost and schedule overruns.