Defining Your Project’s Business Requirements

Let’s remind ourselves what the business requirements are and how they relate to developing, validating and managing our project’s requirements. The business requirements consist of a set of “big picture” deliverables that scope out and frame your project’s products and work activities. The BABOK® Guide recommends that you develop four deliverables as part of your Enterprise Analysis knowledge area tasks that together become your project’s business requirements.  Let’s take a look at each of these deliverables:

Business need

The business need describes the problem or opportunity that an organization is facing. This problem or opportunity exists within the framework of that organization’s business goals and objectives. The business need and the desired outcome from addressing that need guide the identification, definition, and selection of possible solutions and solution approaches for that situation.

Required capabilities

The required capabilities define the new capabilities that may be required to meet a business need. These capabilities may be multifaceted, addressing processes, staff and application features of the new solution.

Solution scope

Solution scope defines the major features, functions and interactions of your proposed solution. It describes what must be delivered to meet a business need including any effects the solution might have on the business and technology operations and infrastructure of the organization. 

Business case

Your project’s business case justifies the cost of doing the project in terms of the value the resulting solution adds to the business. A business case looks at both sides of the equation, comparing the costs and benefits of a proposed solution. The expected business benefits of the solution are evaluated relative to achieving the business objectives and meeting the business need.

These four deliverables are not always found in a stand-alone deliverable or document. They are each part of the project’s business requirements and are typically included in a more comprehensive business requirements document or as part of the project’s business case.

Happy requirements development!

Susan Weese

If you are considering sitting the CBAP or CCBA certification exams for business analysts, check out our new study guide that can help you prepare to pass the test, the CBAP / CCBA: Certified Business Analysis Study Guide by Susan Weese and Terri Wagner!  It’s a great place to learn more about business requirements and everything else you need to know to successfully pass the certification exam.

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