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Project Management Requirements

Project Management Requirements are one of the most important parts of a project to get right if you want to successfully deliver. It basically involves documenting what the Business Stakeholders actually require the project to deliver. So for example, say your project is to deliver a new Video on Demand Website (YouTube), the Stakeholders would need to define some of the following:

  • How many videos will be available via the site?
  • How should the videos be catalogued?
  • Will only users in a particular country be able to access the videos?
  • Will Users have to pay to view them?
  • Will there be paid for advertising on the site?
  • Will there need to be digital rights management or DRM?

And these are probably just 2% of the total amount of requirements which would need to be defined.

A normal Requirements Gathering Phase of a Project will consist of the following:

  1. Who is a Stakeholder aka Stakeholder Identification
  2. Business Requirements Documentation (BRD)
  3. Requirements Workshops
  4. Use Cases
  5. The Purpose and Characteristics of a Software Requirements Specification (SRS)
  6. Prototyping

Not every Requirements Gathering Phase has all these phases, for example only a software development project has the software requirements specification (SRS) stage. Further they don't always have to be done in the order listed above. Often due to time constraints they are done in parallel. However each stage has a very specific output as seen below:

Stakeholder Identification

Often this is extremely straightforward as it simply involves identifying who in a certain departments will be the project management stakeholders able to define the requirements necessary for your project. However in large or complex projects which involve numerous workstreams, this can get extremely complicated. Worse still if you don't identify the right types of stakeholders in a department you could find that much of the work done will need to be re-done.

Business Requirements Documentation (BRD)

The business requirements documentation (BRD) is basically a document where the Business define the high level scope of the project. So in the example of the Video on Demand Website, this would include the requirements listed above.

The output from this phase is an approved document in which the Business Requirements are listed under the following headings of Must, Should or Could.


These are usually organised as part of the role of a Business Analyst, or if you are under-resourced or extremely unlucky, by yourself. It is basically an extremely thankless task as it usually involves having to organise a number of meetings with numerous people in order to define requirements utilising the Use Cases used on other projects.

Use Cases

Use Cases are also often known as Functional Requirements. Basically a Use Case is merely a document which details one or more scenarios which show how a system should interact with either another System or an end user. In the example above, a Use Case could be documented which shows how a User would search for a video they wanted to watch.

Unlike SRS's, Use Cases merely contain a description of all the ways in which certain functionality could work. Use Cases do not document how a certain System could be developed to work in that way nor how such work would be implemented. It simply shows the steps that a user or system should take to complete the task described. This should be done in such a way that at a later stage there is absolutely no confusion about what was specified.

Use Cases are always written as part of the role of a business analyst although where a project is small, straightforward with a tight budget for a project and resources, a Project Manager can be expected to document them.

Software Requirements Specification (SRS)

These are often known as Non Functional Requirements and are usually a complete description regarding how the system to be developed should behave both with users as well as with other systems.They essentially will detail certain criteria which need to be met regarding such things as design, quality and performance.

Whilst SRS's are sometimes written by the BA Team, they are more usually detailed by system analysts due to their technical nature.


Occassionally Corporates who devise projects based upon user research tend to want a prototype to be developed so it can be further research tested before development takes place. These will also be required if the project is utilising RAD software development which is heavily dependent on prototypes for a successful outcome. This could for example be a mockup of the Search for Videos facility which could be tested by users to see how intuitive it really is.

However please note that a prototype could be anything from a Graphical User Interface (GUI) through to a paper report. It could in fact consist of anything depending on what the project is delivering.

Project Management Requirements - Tip

A hard working, experienced and efficient Business Analyst can make the difference between a project where Scope Creep is running out of control and one which successfully delivers. Therefore make sure you wisely choose who your BA Team Lead will be and ensure they have the right business analyst skills. If necessary pull whatever favours you can to get the right person.

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