Requirements are not obsolete when selecting and implementing new enterprise software!
Requirements specifications have fallen out of favour in recent years. The reason is that the majority were badly written and not fit for purpose, either too detailed or not detailed enough.
Many simply tried to specify what their current system’s did and not allow vendors to propose new and improved ways of achieving objectives. Organisations failed to reflect what was really needed because they were written by people who did not really understand modern enterprise software or what was critically important or differentiating between solutions. Consequently, vendors provided ambiguous responses that didn’t reflect their system’s true capabilities. It was also difficult to trace the delivery of these requirements through the deployment of new enterprise software, leading to low user acceptance and failed projects.
In fact, Requirement Sets are more important than ever – they just need to be written a certain way with the right level of detail, focused on the differentiating factors.
Companies should not just consider what they need to achieve today but also consider where their business is heading and what might be required in the future. It is difficult to completely future-proof a system completely but it should get some consideration.
It is also difficult for some companies to understand what modern systems are capable of and sometimes pad requirements sets with too much detail or with not enough. Asking vendors to respond on topics that all systems may already be able to do and not really helping them differentiate solutions at all.
SMC has been helping companies define and prioritise requirements since 2006 and has developed a database of critical needs by business function that come up often and are potential differentiators in the decision making process. These requirements have been refined by hundreds of Australian and New Zealand companies like yours.