What should you do first? Would you define your requirements scope before you start to identify and analyze your stakeholders or vice versa? Would you receive the same answer if you asked 10 Business Analysts? I would bet not. Many might answer that they identify scope first before they can identify requirements stakeholders. Others would start with the people whom they know are impacted by the project.
Does it matter which is done first? Probably not and I will tell you why. Typically you want to start with what you know most about the project. As a Business Analyst I continually ask myself two questions: what do I already know and what is most important to know next? Most project activities do not happen sequentially, especially during the planning process. It really doesn’t matter which activity you do first as long as you focus on defining what you need to know most at the appropriate time on the project. In the beginning of the project you will want to understand the breadth of the project based on some key elements such as the scope and the stakeholders-and it really does not matter where you begin.