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Why does your team spend so much time building out a requirements document? Is the level of detail necessary? Is it getting in the way of delivering more quickly?

Find out what part of the requirements gathering process is slowing down your delivery cycle. Many teams spend more time on requirements definitions than necessary. An agile development practice is about delivering value to your customer. Faster delivery means faster feedback. Faster feedback results in faster updates. Faster updates means your customer will see value sooner. Ask your team whether they actually use the documents that are created. Let your team figure out a faster way to gather requirements. If you’re focused on ensuring all the fine details are captured and the right design is created, you may be focusing on the wrong thing. The history of gathering details and over-designing is often rooted in the fear of delivering the wrong product. Faster delivery cycles will accomplish the same thing and make for better use of time than spending it building out documents that may not be used.

Instead of having your BA’s spend so much time designing (and over-designing) what you’re building, get the team together to design as a group. The synergistic collaboration can result in a better product and the time you get back can be put into reducing the delivery cycle. It’s time to hack your requirements gathering process.

(Original article appeared in April 1st 2015 edition of The Tempo)

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