A question most BAs get asked when assigned to a project is “how long will it take to complete requirements?”  Without going into ways to improve your estimating skills, I want to address a key point that is often missed when answering this question.  Our answer is usually related to our time and duration needed.  This is a core factor, but we also need to consider how much time is needed from our stakeholders.

It is important for us to set expectations with all stakeholders that will be involved in the steps of eliciting, analyzing, documenting, reviewing and approving requirements.  The list of stakeholders to consider include SMEs, sponsors, PM, QA Analysts, and development staff.  In order for you to effectively meet your deadlines you need to receive the necessary time dedicated from these stakeholders.  Your project is most likely not their only project.  Planning for their time will help ensure they will be available when needed.

Simply put: lack of planning on your part  does not constitute an emergency for your stakeholders.

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