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New Post 3/15/2010 9:35 AM
User is offline bernard
18 posts
9th Level Poster

Picking up someone elses reqs 

Hi all

I'm starting on a new project today. It's all backwards and I've picked up the functional requirements half completed as the BA has left the company.

We're looking at introducing a new marketing system (for example Neolane is one of the potentials) and we need to justify the expense. At the moment it's not officially a project. My original thought about this was that if this is a justification exercise to go with an external company then for the buisness case we surely don't go too far in to details for the business spec.

The normal process in our company is idea/opportunity > business case > approval (or not!) > project to deliver soln> delivery etc....

The spec I have goes in to data feeds, server & DB design, field specification etc. Am I wrong in thinking this is too far? When briefed on the project I thought it would be a case of going as far as a business spec (ie an ideology around what the system should do) rather than a full functional spec (how it does what it should do).

On top of this, what's the best approach when picking up someone elses half finished spec?....

New Post 3/15/2010 10:29 AM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
7th Level Poster

Re: Picking up someone elses reqs 


First, what you have received sounds more like design than requirements, so yes, it is too detailed for evaluating a vendor's product. Did the previous BA create anything before this design spec? something that was more like Requirements?

In any case, picking up another person's task, what ever it is, depends a lot on how the overall project is being run. It is certainly easier when the previous person has been documenting their work to that point, but discuss the situation with the PM, who is in overall charge of getting all the tasks done, and see how they want you to proceed.

Now, you did say it was not an official project yet. Is that going to change?

David Wright
New Post 3/16/2010 12:20 AM
User is offline Rolf Aalders
1 posts
No Ranking

Re: Picking up someone elses reqs 


I agree with David! Sounds a bit to much detail for this phase of the 'project' (which isn't actually a project yet).

I'd say:
Get familliar with the stakeholders and project team to get a proper introduction.
Perhaps even contact the BA that left and try to get a better understanding regarding his approach.
Focus on the high level understanding of the goal and the business requirements and get to the details when the project is approved.

Once approved: determine the quality of the design, made by your collegue. If it's OK, continue working on it; if it's just a start: use it as background information.
Inform your Project Managerof the approach.


Good luck!



New Post 3/17/2010 4:36 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Picking up someone elses reqs 
Modified By Kimbo  on 3/17/2010 6:38:01 AM)

 G'day Bernard,

We use a similar-ish approach to your company. Initial business idea is explored by a BA creating an initiative brief which is a one or two page thing that states the objectives, the functionality required, system impacts, scope in terms of business areas, products, etc. The aim of this is to get a high level estimate which is used as a go / no go point to continue the project to elaboration and a further more detailed estimate. 

If I was handed this project I'd seek to nail down the scope as a starting point then look at the other things I've mentioned. Giving its a fairly broad assignment, a list of features or high level functions your business wants out of the marketing system seems worthwhile. this can be used in your business case, as a basis for estimation and help with a buy v build decision. 

Sounds like the spec is pretty worthless unless you're building rather than buying. 


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