Handling Vague Requirements

Have you ever encounter vague requirements? What are usually the issues? I will have a standard strategy to handle vague requirements. This is a quick and systematic approach to manage such requirements.

Photo by Ethan Kwok
  1. Identify the stakeholders for the requirements.
  2. Get sample data for the requirements. This can be existing data or copies of excel records.
  3. Consolidate user communications and understand interactions of users and the requirements and the sample data.
  4. Agile or prototype to elicit sample data or to clarify the requirements.
  5. Separate clarity and vague once you identify each part of the requirements.
  6. You should be able to proceed on the clear requirements and put the vague part into the backlog.
  7. Iterate the approach from Step 1.

Requirement gathering is never straightforward. Those documented are usually clear requirement while the vague part exists somewhere out there. It takes a lot of practice to clarify vague requirements. You can consider to approach it in a systematic and agile manner.

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