In Real Estate the mantra is Location, Location, Location.  If Requirements Management had a mantra it should be Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize.  From the highest level requirements down to the detail requirements, Business Analysts should work with the stakeholders to prioritize each requirement.

Prioritizing Project Objectives
When you are initially scoping a project, prioritizing the project objectives will help guide the team in understanding what is most important to the stakeholder.  This process and dialogue may even lead to the stakeholders realizing some of the objectives are not needed for the project.   At this stage in the project, estimates may be given to the stakeholders.  By having prioritized objectives, the stakeholders can decide to eliminate some of the lower priority objectives if necessary.

Prioritizing the Detail
As you move through the project and gather business, functional, and design requirements you should continue prioritizing.  In some cases, the priority may be the same as the project objective it is traced from, but the priorities can be different.  As the team has more detail requirements, better estimates are given and again the priorities give the stakeholders a basis for removing or postponing some requirements if the cost and/or duration of the project is longer than they would like.

In addition to aiding the stakeholders, the priorities guide the team on which requirements are most important.  Teams are often crunched for time in all stages of the project.  The requirement priorities are a tool that the team can use to determine where they should focus their attention.

The prioritization of requirements will be needed during a project and you’ll be glad you did it!

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