One of the most common reasons for project failure is the scope and requirements creep. About 43% of projects face challenges due to budget overrun or uncontrolled changes to the project’s scope.
Stakeholders changing the scope in the midstream of project development is very common. These changes result in the addition of new requirements for the project. And if the scope of the project changes new requirements might lead to project reschedule and increase in budget. Otherwise, you might face budget overrun or rework.
Changes in projects are inevitable, so is the possibility of scope creep. To combat this challenge, you should focus on authorizing the changes. By involving stakeholders in scope and requirement baseline activities, you can achieve this. Through stakeholder participation and engagement, you will be able to minimize the adverse impacts of change.
In this article, we will understand the practice of requirement baseline and its importance in project development.
The foundation of any project development is to have a shared vision. To fulfill this concept requirement baselining is done. Requirement baseline acts as a reference point for reviewed and approved set of requirements for a specific project release. The release could be for a complete project or an interim development of a product.
The first step towards requirements baselining is to define your requirements. Then, they must be agreed to by all key stakeholders. Once your team establishes requirements baseline, the team should follow a pragmatic change control approach for adding newly requested features, alteration, or deletion of existing requirements.
Requirement baselining is not just about the change control process. It provides decision-makers with information that lets them make timely and appropriate decisions to modify the planned functionality.
In project management, it is crucial to establish a baseline with clearly defined requirements, precise cost structure, and scheduling estimates, before the stages of project design and execution begin. It keeps the team from diverging, reducing inconsistencies, and enables the team to view the big picture. Here’s how it can benefit your project-
Baselining your requirements before the design phase puts your requirement set under scrutinization. Any changes proposed to your requirements then must go to the configuration control board who will evaluate each change for feasibility, impacts to cost, schedule, and risk. Validate the changes against the baselined scope, and formally approve/reject the change.
Every time a change to the scope of a project occurs, the schedule and cost should be updated. Thus evolving the baseline of a project. Having an agreed requirement baseline helps avoid this frequent hassle.
After measuring the risk and feasibility of a project, it becomes easier to estimate the cost and schedule. Also, by comparing baselines of similar projects, you can effectively improve future project estimation.
An approved Requirement baseline reduces the project review cycle during the verification and validation stage. Because the chances of diverging from the intent of stakeholders minimize, and it pays off by reducing rework and cost overruns.
Although Jira does not provide requirements baselining functionality by default, there are few marketplace applications which can help you with this.
Are you using any marketplace application to create and manage your requirements baselines? If yes, which application are you using?
Deepanshu NataniCommunity Leader
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