Poor requirements? Welcome outsourcing!

Door Johan Zandhuis

Controlled outsourcing within system development requires a proper and well understood set of requirements at the start of a project. Subsequently this set of requirements must be adequately managed during the project. However this is not the actual situation in many organisations that are considering outsourcing. Johan Zandhuis wrote the following article about this subject in Requirements Engineering Magazine.

Many organisations have inadequate requirements engineering processes. In such environments, requirements professionals are not likely to support outsourcing for fear of mountainous contract extras and loss of business continuity. It raises questions as to how clear an assignment will be to a supplier in the case of fuzzy requirements. This fear can be put aside: outsourcing will provide an impulse to leverage requirement practices.

Starting point for outsourcing: the current situation

An ever-growing number of organizations is exploring the possibilities of IT-development outsourcing and many have decided to take the leap.

Requirements engineering is a key factor in enabling successful outsourcing that most of these organizations have not yet mastered fully. Best practices such as requirements validation, product ownership and backlog grooming are not business as usual.

Omissions in the requirements engineering process cause uncertainty and many hours of discussion within software development projects. The various disciplines within the development lifecycle repair these omissions and vagueness on the fly, aligning them towards a useable final product.

When development fails to align the end result with expectations, acceptance testing prevents failures being deployed to production. Copious redesign and rebuild will, in the end, lead to acceptable software. Later than planned and at a higher cost maybe, but satisfying all the same. As long as these internal correction processes remain, projects can do reasonably well.

Read the complete article

Click on the following link to read the complete article online in Requirements Engineering Magazine, the IREB magazine for requirements engineering professionals.

What follows

  • Fear of outsourcing
  • Change your mind-set towards outsourcing
  • How to achieve cost-increase: Fuzzy requirements + Outsourcing
  • The rework-penalty: in-house versus outsourced
  • “We won't have this problem, we're going agile!”
  • Where is the profit in outsourcing?

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