The software development life cycle typically begins with a requirement analysis and discovery phase to define and document the requirements for a project. To an enthusiastic entrepreneur or a business facing timeline and budget restraints, this process may seem drawn out and cumbersome. However, requirement analysis is a step that shouldn’t be skipped.
Here are four benefits of a requirement analysis:
Saves Time and Money
Poorly defined requirements may prolong the development cycle and result in a product that doesn’t meet your needs. By ensuring developers have a clear understanding of your vision, you will minimize time wasted doing reiterations and focusing on the wrong features. The more thorough the understanding your developers have, the more accurate their quotes and timelines will be, making it easier to stay on time and on budget.
Gives You Perspective
While you may be an expert in your business field, you may not realize how technology can best meet your business needs. During a requirement analysis the perspectives of your software users are sought. Software developers may come up with suggestions and solutions that you didn’t anticipate. Similarly, they may deem some features unnecessary or impossible. Perhaps there is commercial software that could be leveraged or integrated to address an issue. Your development team may find a more efficient and all-encompassing solution.
Refines Your Processes
The initial discovery phase of development can help you identify problem areas and simplify them. If you’re building an application to automate aspects of your workflow, you do not want the application to echo operational deficiencies. For example, if you are creating file management software, some steps of your current manual processes — such as converting files into different formats for various departments — may be unnecessary.
Increases Chances of Success
Requirement analysis enhances communication and acts as an agreement between you and your development team. When embarking on a new business project, it’s important to have realistic expectations. What you want to build may exceed your budget or take longer than expected. With a requirement analysis you can become aware of any issues before investing your entire budget, which allows you to seek additional funding or decide which features are necessary.
Well-documented requirements will ease frustrations during custom software development. When your software developers understand your business needs and goals, they are more likely to deliver a product that fits, leading to a better outcome.
Doing an upfront requirement analysis doesn’t set your project in stone. You can still follow an agile development process. The requirement analysis will identify problem areas and provide tentative solutions that can change based on feedback.