Identifying Stakeholder Requirements

5 Oct 2009 - 3:13pm
6 years ago
1 reply
11176 reads
Siegy Adler

Here’s my take on a key first step in the development of any
functional spec – the identification of stakeholder requirements.

Let's start by defining the term 'stakeholder'. A stakeholder can
be anyone who has an interest in the successful completion of a
project. This may include the individual(s) authorizing the project
as well as the folks who will actually be using the application. Once
you have identified the stakeholders, at a minimum, you'll need to
get answers to the following questions:

1. Type of application to be developed (e.g., marketing website,
self-service portal, etc.)
2. Objective (e.g., increase sales, reduce administrative costs,
3. Who will use the application (e.g., customers, employees, etc.)
4. Some basic details about the application (e.g., content,
interfaces, etc.)
5. How is the application supposed to function (e.g., security,
navigation, etc.)
6. Measurements for success (e.g., 10% increase in sales, 20%
reduction in administrative costs, etc.)

There are several ways to identify stakeholder requirements but I
find the most effective approach is to interview each person. You’ll
want to leave each interview with answers to the 6 questions listed

When you have completed your initial round of interviews, document
your findings and ask the stakeholders to provide feedback. In my
experience, it is beneficial to gain consensus from the project
stakeholders before you start drafting the spec.


6 Oct 2009 - 9:41am
Phillip Hunter


Getting stakeholder input is vital, I agree. However, for most projects, most stakeholders have neither the UX nor technical expertise to answer #1 very well. The answers to other questions and user research should lead to the app type decision a bit later in the project.

Also, numbers 2 and 6 are so closely related, I would not consider them separate questions. You don't really want two lists of goals, one ambiguous and one concrete.

Lastly, I suggest adding a question to see in what way they are prepared to act as the or a project champion or advocate. If they have specific goals they hope for, they should be wiling to make things happen toward them.


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