Requirements Competency Drives Successful Projects

There is a new study out by IAG Consulting that confirms many previous studies and the gut-level feeling that most of us have around requirements, namely that companies with poor requirement gathering processes are going to have more project failures than successes.  In fact, the new IAG study points out that companies with poor business analysis capabilities will have 3 times as many project failures as successes.  The report also went on to state that effective business requirements are a process and not a “deliverable”.

One of the more telling graphics pointed out that the competency of the business analyst team had a significant impact on successful projects.  Companies in the lower 3rd of competency classified only 10% of their projects as successful or unqualified successes.  On the other hand, companies in the upper 3rd of competency described more than 70% of their projects as successful

IAG also quantified the inefficiency of poor requirements using an average project size of $3 million.  Companies with poor requirements processes will:

  • Be on budget less than 20% of the time
  • Be massively over budget in time and budget about 50% of the time
  • Spend about 75% per project more than companies who follow best requirements practices

The survey focused on larger companies with development projects with budgets in excess of $250,000 and that delivered significantly new functionality and the average project size in the study was $3 million.

The Executive Summary is available from the IAG website.  The full text report can also be downloaded by registering at the IAG Research Library and the press release on the study can be found here.

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