Success in relation to projects could be defined in several ways. The literature on Project Management has several definitions concerning project success. A project could be successful either in part or as a whole. A more rigid definition relating to overall success of projects could be on the basis of the argument that all strategic stakeholders are satisfied with the results of the project. There are requirements for projects and Widerman suggests that the requirements for success of projects are subjective, multi-dimensional and which are essentially dynamic throughout the working of the entire project. The outcome of the projects should be explained at the beginning of the project itself. Yet almost all have the understanding that bringing about a commodity which is superior in quality and which adheres to the time schedule, whose production costs are within the budget allotted for it, while satisfying the demands of the consumer is centric to success of projects. (ACS Professional Development: Project Management 1: Assignment 1)
Each project has its own processes or lifecycle, and one of the initial steps to be undertaken is the nature of requirements. Requirements can be from anywhere, they could be from the customer and requirements of end user from the field, they could be from design models which are object-oriented on the basis of development, methods of tests from QA, defects which resulted from the services granted to customers, requests for bringing about changes from all the above and also from understanding all these requirements present in several diverse organizations and the influence that several requirements have on expenses, schedule, and time, could ultimately would lead to success of projects. (Requirements Management Ensuring Project Success) A consistent and reasonable project should have requirements which well-define what a project is to ultimately perform. According to Kaner and others in 'Testing Computer Software' a requirement is a goal which should be achieved. Those who are involved in planning the projects put their emphasis of requirements on the basis of functions, providing responsibilities to the developers for detailing design and implementation. (Requirements and Specifications)
The developers could detail the goals of the project in terms of costs, levels of performance and levels of reliability in exact quantity, also including certain features of the user interface. At times, they explain their goals in greater precise terms than in comparison to being realistic. There are different types of requirements. The concept of requirement has an awkward outlook since it explains itself an objective or goal or a feature which is essential, and also the concept as a type of formal documentation, i.e. The requirements document. While keeping aside the particular documents for the time being, requirements could be explained as instructions which describe the kind of functions the software is assumed to provide, the features the software is assumed to have, and the objectives the software is assumed to satisfy or to enable users to meet. (Requirements and Specifications) The team members relating to the working of the projects should know about the correct vision, objectives, specifications and requirements of the final remedy to the problems. (Better IS Requirements Management)
Involvement of users, co-operation of the executive management, correct analysis of the requirements, correct planning and practical expectations are the characteristics in projects which are successful. (Frese Sauter, 2003) An effort to improve the competence levels of an organization in terms of requirements would make it possible to use the scarce resources at the level of greatest leverage for the purpose of improving the satisfaction of consumers and finally developing the productivity of teams. (Specifying Software Requirements for Users) A perfect user requirement would bring about proper estimates, a reduction in expenses and a less period for completion of the project. (Bad Requirements Cause Failures) An emphasis on the requirements of quality would reduce the expenses relating to development. It takes cent time's greater action to correct the defects which were being noticed during the maintenance phase when compared to correcting the same defects if they were understood during the phase of evolving requirements of a project. A perfect analysis of requirements from the beginning of the project would enhance the chances of having a commodity which is superior in quality. An effort at the last phase of the project to test quality into code is costly and inefficient. The hypothesis that defects which evolve from imperfect analysis of requirements can be entirely corrected would decrease, if they are permitted to move into the spheres of codes and designs. (Specifying Software Requirements for Users) perfect gathering of requirements would enable a strong foundation to begin the project. Consumers should have an understanding as to what is being developed and whether it can provide satisfaction to their requirements. Developers of the projects should also have an understanding as to what all need to be developed and those who are involved in testing should know what the requirements for testing are. Requirements which are qualitative in nature would keep a record of all of things necessary. While making a document of requirements it is essential to have the participation of those who are involved in the project. This should have the participation from the customer, manager of the project, manager dealing with customer account, testers, and developers and probably whoever is involved with the project. Gathering of requirements is a collaborative effort of business analysts and managers of project. A perfect set of requirements would make possibilities for the project manager to effectively plan and estimate the costs of the project in an efficient manner. (Bad Requirements Cause Failures)
When a major project faces the problem of failure, its results would be devastating to a firm. 10 Requirements of projects provide an obvious tool for analyzing the quality relating to the project, because a final analysis should take into consideration an understanding whether each specific requirement has been met or not. But usually, it is not that easy as it appears. (Requirements and Specifications) A project which is perfectly managed would evolve through several strategic decision-making tactics. At times it is not clear as to who takes these decisions or how these decisions are arrived at. A project which takes decisions without satisfying the pass criterion would defer the risks involved with the technical aspects and would have greater chances of financial problems at a later stage. (Good Money after http://www.stickyminds.com/../images3/c.gif
) A failure to gather requirements relating to business or assuming that we have proper knowledge of all that is required could bring about poor outcomes, the need for additional resources, increased expenses and increased time span for completing the project. (Bad Requirements Cause Failures)
The reasons for poor gathering of requirements are that customers are giving more importance than what is needed to a detailed requirement document which could provide the guidance for the activities relating to development; lack of a proper language between customers and developers; customers finding new important characteristics during the process of the implementation of the project and abrupt changes in the process of business or the requirements of the customers. (Better IS Requirements Management) Requirements would have changes during the course of a project, with the final result would be that the commodity which is delivered may not consistent to the requirements which are available. This is a constant and problematic feature in the process of maintaining the quality of the product. However even though all the requirements are being satisfied one cannot assure the delivery of a commodity which is superior in quality product, since the requirements would not have been analyzed with an understanding of the quality of the end-user's experience. The specifications of a project are of greater use in determining the quality of the commodity. (Requirements and Specifications)
There are several authors who give information as to what makes a project to end up in failure. For example, Field informs us that projects fail frequently since the scope of the project was not entirely appreciated or the requirements of the user was not correctly understood. Hulme provides information that MIS projects and associated procurements would have its performance in an atmosphere which has- lack of continuity in management and an incentive system which provides opportunities for the estimates of the advantages which can be achieved from the project. Leicht is of the opinion that high levels of the expectations of the user can also be the cause of the failure of the project. Hoffman on the other hand is of the view that projects fail due to low levels of alliance between IT departments and business users. He also informs that project managers too often act as "process cops and report compilers and loose sight of what they're supposed to be doing - to make sure projects are running effectively." (Frese; Sauter, 2003) All of these authors are correct. Yet none of these writes are emphasizing on systematic research of the characteristics which bring about the success or failure of a project.