Meeting expectations

The phase of requirements gathering is often critical to project success or failure. This article maintains that requirements gathering must be collaborative, and proposes that the most beneficial form of requirements gathering on large projects is a facilitated workshop wherein the project manager details and validates project requirements with stakeholders. The workshop facilitator's job is to ensure that all significant parties and functions are represented; that opportunities are offered to get everyone aligned and focused; and that ground rules are established to produce a project plan and deliverable definitions. After the workshop, participants and stakeholders should be given written briefings, and, if appropriate, follow-up meetings can be held. Workshop leadership is extremely important, and complete consensus is not always desirable. The workshop's primary objective is to ensure customer satisfaction and produce meaningful results.
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