Project Requirements and Elicitation Techniques

Project Requirements
Elicitation techniques must focus on creating or developing requirements rather than the actual design or how project tasks and activities fit together for the overall project. Implementing proper elicitation techniques should work in both project managers’ and clients’ concerns simultaneously in order to ensure client satisfaction and overall project success.

To ensure proper elicitation implementation, it is also extremely important for project managers to understand organizational, environmental, and project context. So where should we begin? Here are some elicitation techniques that project managers can consider when dealing with project requirements:

  • Document a “Wish List” – Create and document a “wish list” for clients in order to gather as much information as possible. A “wish list” includes the “what” of a project, which should detail any pertinent information or specific key areas a client would want to factor in their projects.This could include style guides, policies or procedures that must be followed, and any other pertinent activities that may be useful for project implementation as well as overall project success and client satisfaction.
  • Identify Nonfunctional RequirementsIdentifying nonfunctional requirements, such as issues related to performance and reliability, or as mentioned in a previous post, the “how well” portions of a project. Is another elicitation technique that shouldn’t go unnoticed.Identifying any performance factors related to the overall outcome or success of a project that has a direct impact on customer requirements should be identified early on in the gathering data and implementation stages.
  • Identify Environmental Factors – Environmental factors have a huge impact on requirements elicitation. It is important for project managers to take the time and recognize customer requirements and the background or environment in which they function. Some environmental factors include what and how much an impact a project has on a client and their products or customers. This also includes an understanding of how much a client is invested in the overall project.This will help project managers to understand what the particular product or service is supposed to accomplish. This understanding also has a direct impact on the overall outcome and success of a project and client satisfaction.

Finally, project requirements and elicitation techniques of those requirements go hand in hand. Project managers should take the time and recognize these requirements and the impacts each has on the client. This will ensure overall project success and client satisfaction.

Elicitation techniques are techniques or strategies that project managers can use in order to ensure proper understanding and the correct scope of a project so the proper requirements are carried out accurately and successfully.

Image credit: © John Leaver |

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About Julie

Julie Anne Hoey is the owner and founder of J. H. Language Solutions. She has over four years experience in publishing as a full time editor and project manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusett. The main focus of her personal and professional studies has always been language. Her project management experience began while she was working for Victory Productions, a small publishing house in Worcester, MA. She now holds a position at Pearson Learning Solutions, the largest textbook publisher in the world, managing an initiative to ensure that custom higher ed textbooks are more relevant and cost effective for students. As the textbook publishing industry is facing steep competition from digital format books, she has learned to work closely with professors, adopters and field editors all over the country to ensure projects are seen through to successful completion. Her own consulting business, J. H. Language Solutions, is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals with their language needs and challenges whether it be translation, editing, writing blogs, or project management. She can be hired via her oDesk page: