Is everyone in the loop? Do we have approval on the requirements to move forward? These questions come up during development cycles. It would be great if everyone could agree on requirements, but for large projects with many stakeholders, this does not usually happen. Trying to get everyone in agreement can cause decisions to be delayed, or worse, not made at all. Gaining consensus on every decision is not always easy.
In practice, you don’t necessarily want “consensus,” you want “buy-in” from the group and approval from those in control so you can move the project forward. With consensus, you are trying to get everyone to compromise and agree on the decision. With buy-in, you are trying to get people to back the best solution, make a smart decision and do what is necessary to move forward.
You don’t need everyone to agree that the decision is the best. You need everyone to support the decision. Team collaboration can help in receiving support on decisions and in planning good requirements.
Collaborative teams work hard to make sure everyone has a stake in projects and provides feedback. Collaborative teams continuously share ideas, typically have better communication and tend to support decisions made because there is a shared sense of commitment and understanding of the goals of the project.
It’s when developers, testers, or other stakeholders feel “out of the loop” that communication issues arise, people get frustrated and projects get delayed. Once everyone has bought-in to the scope of work, it is imperative for requirements to be clear and well documented. Keeping track of all the requirements is where things get tricky.
Imagine having a to-do list a mile long that involves collaborating with multiple people to complete. How would you keep all those items straight? How would you track how one change to an item would affect the rest of the project? This is where traceability and change management add value.