Assessing requirements changes

Requirements can change throughout the life cycle of the project. The assess requirements change is used to evaluate the impact of the proposed changes to the requirements and designs.

As new needs or changes to existing needs are identified there is a need to assess the requirements change. The assessment is done to analyse the implications of the change on the proposed solution.

The business analyst has to assess the proposed changes for its effect on the solution. They also have to assess if these changes would conflict with other requirements and increase the risk to the project.

When assessing the proposed changes the business analyst has to consider the following:

i. Does the change align with the overall strategy of the project ?

ii. Does it affect the value delivered to the stakeholders ?

iii. Does the change alter the risks, opportunities or constraints of the solution ?

The answers to these answered questions must support the decision making and change control approaches as defined by the plan business analysis governance task.

The assess requirements changes task has some components and they are:

a. Assess formality: the formality of the assessment process is based on the information available, the importance of the change and the governance process.

There are 2 types of approaches to this approach and they are:

1. The predictive approach: the predictive approach is a more formal approach to change assessment. With this approach a change can be more disruptive and generate substantial rework to numerous tasks and activities.

2. The adaptive approach: the adaptive approach is a less formal approach to change assessment. This approach tries to minimize the impact of the change by using an iterative and incremental implementation techniques.

b. Impact analysis: impact analysis is used to evaluate the effect of a change.

When a requirement changes, its relationship to other requirements would also have to be assessed. This might lead to changes to other related requirements.

When considering if a change should be approved the following needs to be considered:

i. Benefit: what benefit would be gained by making this change ?

ii: Cost: what is the total cost to make this change ? These costs include the cost of rework and the opportunity cost of other features that need to be sacrificed to make the change possible.

iii. Impact: How many stakeholders would be affected by this change ?

iv. Schedule: How would making this change affect the timeline of the project ?

v. Urgency: how urgent is this change ? If this change is not implemented, how would it affect the success of the solution ?

c. Impact resolution: the impact and resolutions resulting from the change analysis has to be documented and communicated with all the stakeholders.

The communication made to the stakeholders would be based on the plan business analysis governance task.