Requirements vs. Solutions

Does this scenario sounds familiar?  You’re discussing requirements for a new solution and a stakeholder tells you what they want the solution to be rather than tell you what they need it to do.

Here’s how to avoid this scenario:

Firstly, we need to understand what a requirements is. A requirement is something someone needs in order achieve an objective or outcome.  It’s not a ‘want’, because what one wants is not necessarily what one needs. You should identify the true need by carrying out typical problem solving techniques such as the 5 why’s because the problem you’re trying to solve is likely to be the symptom of the underlying issue.

A solution is something that delivers a requirement. Software Developers review requirements to determine the best way to deliver them. There may be times when there is more than one way to deliver a requirement, this is when to engage with stakeholders to understand the specifics (lower level requirements: functional and non-functional), if you haven’t already.  The best solutions are the most creative and often the simplest.

It’s important that the team responsible for solving problems and delivering solutions collaborate with each other, stakeholders and customers to co-create, learn and deliver great things.

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Tanic Ltd

Tanic Ltd

Discovered in a Yorkshire vineyard is Tanic, the small consulting business focused on creating operational effectiveness through Targeted Problem Solving.