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FAQs for a great requirements capture!

What is a requirements capture?

At the start of a project we sit down with our clients and talk about what they want to achieve through the project. We'll have a chat about the direction they want to take the project, its intended use and therefore what does it need to be able to do. This is the requirements capture!

What should the client do to prepare for a requirements capture meeting?

Of course a potential client will already have an idea of what they are expecting from a project! It might be handy to make some notes about anything specific they would like to see. It could be as simple as a particular colour or a logo they would like included, or something more complex like it must adhere to a particular industry standard. Remember it might be obvious in your head but if you want it make sure you ask for it!

An example of notes for a project with our questions and comments

How do we put together a requirements document?

After our chat Sleipnir will sit down and compile a requirements document. This is just a list of the things we have talked about. What will the prototype or finished project look like, what must it be able to do and how will we know when it is finished? This information will all be written down so that we and our client can check we agree! We'll send it to the client and they have a chance to ask any questions or request any changes to the requirements.

Why do we do it?

Well it's important that we understand exactly what the client wants out of a project. We need to know what they are expecting the project to achieve so that we can make it happen. Talking to the client about their project also lets us know the context that we are working towards so we can make sure the finished product will be suitable in that context. It gives us a goal for the project and means that we can say when it is finished.

What happens if the project changes part way through?

We know this can happen, don't worry! If the requirements need to change, our clients can get in touch and submit a change request so that we can have a chance to talk about the new requirements. Of course any changes can mean that the project takes longer or shorter than originally estimated and can add additional expenses in terms of materials and equipment. Therefore it is important we talk about them with the client so that they understand any impact of the changes and we can all agree how to proceed.

What about at the end of the project?

At the end of the project, Sleipnir will go through the most recent requirements document that has been agreed by us and the client. We'll check that the prototype or product meets each requirement. When we are satisfied, we'll arrange a chat with the client to demonstrate the results of the project. It's a chance for the client to check that we've done what they asked for. At that point we'll be able to agree any further work that they would like doing or arrange to hand over the project for the next stages!

A final word...

All this might sound daunting if you haven't been involved in this sort of project before but don't worry. We are here to guide you through the process and we'll make sure we understand what it is you want from us. At the end of the day, it is simply a list for us to tick off to make sure we produce what you want.

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