Since my living is earned through providing organizations with software application value this topic is one of great interest to me. I’ve also stated regularly in this blog that I normally am dealing with small business. In many cases when it comes to establishing the value of an application my clients are relying heavily on my skills in establishing application value for them. They in most instances have recognized that there is some business process of theirs that is just not working. This is the starting point for establishing value of an application project.
With that said, areas which I have previously blogged come into focus. Please Hear What I “Really” Need comes to mind right away, as does Developer – User Communications – Another Visit. It is at this early stage of communication that I believe application value begins. So, communication and application requirements definition really are intertwined at this stage of the project (or non-project).
It seems that other industry writing confirms this idea as well. One needs not look very far to find examples of the need to establish software project requirements early – for to do so results in faster delivery of the application, better quality, fewer “gotchas” – and best of all (to managers and the bean counters) LESS COST! What a concept! Many an IT person has a horror story (or two) about a poorly defined project gone astray.
Once application requirements definition has been accomplished, I believe, one then has an answer to what value the application is expected to provide. What one does with that information will vary depending on the project and organization. Simply having defined the application requirements may be enough to signal a go for the project. Perhaps there will need to be some “quantifying” of the information as well.
Regardless of situation, I believe that until sound application requirements are established, the business application value cannot be established.