07 August 2020

Project Management

Emphasis on need


According to a new report organisations can reduce risk by improving requirements management capabilities

As per the the 2014 Pulse of the Profession® In-Depth Report: Requirements Management — A Core Competency for Project and Program Success, released by Project Management Institute (PMI), organisations waste $51 million for every $1 billion spent on projects and programs due to poor requirements management.

Research for the report was conducted in May 2014 with responses from 2,066 project and program managers and business analysts.  Additional in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with manager-level practitioners for the purpose of obtaining deeper insights into opinions and examples of situations, illustrating how effective requirements management contributes to project and program success.

The report  set out to better understand requirements management in organisations and how these competencies can be improved to boost project success rates while reducing budget risk. The Pulse study found that, while many organizations lack maturity in requirements management (only 20 per cent reported a high level of maturity), some are already taking steps to make improvements in these areas. More than one-half of respondents report focussed on more defined practices and processes (58 per cent) and revisions to current processes (53 per cent).

Additionally, organisations are recognizing the need to create and maintain a higher standard of requirements management capabilities in their workforce, with 48 per cent of study respondents reporting a renewed focus on employee training. The difference in maturity levels is dramatic: high-performing organizations waste almost 10 times less money on projects and programs due to poor requirements management than their lower-performing counterparts — about 1 per cent of every dollar spent compared to 10 per cent. 

The Project Management Institute defines requirements management as the discipline of planning, monitoring, analysing, communicating and controlling requirements. Within an organisation, requirements management is most commonly handled by project managers or business analysts. It is critical for organisations to maintain a high level of competency in these interrelated functions. Effective project management depends on high quality requirement management and business analysis, which together ensure alignment to strategy before the project is initiated; deliver against scope, schedule and budget throughout the project lifecycle; and track benefits realisation after the project closes.

“In any project-oriented organisation, requirements management maturity reflects the organisation’s ability to accurately interpret the voice of the customer,” says Project Management Institute President and CEO Mark A. Langley. “Whether that voice is reflected by the business needs of internal stakeholders or the product demands of an external market, the message is clear: accurate and high quality requirements management -- within a sound project management framework -- is essential to the successful delivery of an organization’s strategic initiatives.”

To enable more successful projects and business outcomes, the report suggests that organisations focus much more attention on three critical areas that can greatly improve the effectiveness of their requirements management and ultimately improve project and program success:

  • People — Organisations must put the necessary resources in place to properly apply requirements management to recommend solutions for projects and programs. At the same time, they must also recognise and develop the skills needed to perform these functions.
  • Processes — Organisations must standardise and formalise their processes at the project and program levels to ensure they are consistently applying good requirements practices for all their initiatives.
  • Culture — Organisations must create a sense of urgency at the top, so that executive management and sponsors fully value the practice as a critical competency within the management of projects and programs, and provide the appropriate support and commitment.



Conducted since 2006, PMI's Pulse of the Profession® is the annual global survey of project management professionals. The Pulse of the Profession charts the major trends for project management now and in the future. It features original market research that reports feedback and insights from project, program and portfolio managers, along with an analysis of third-party data. The newest edition of the Pulse features feedback and insights from over 2500 project management leaders and practitioners across North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Latin America and Caribbean regions.



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