Watch Out! Discover Who Can Make or Break the Requirements Process


During the Requirements Engineering process the Business Analysts will engage with various stakeholders, each with their own viewpoints, drivers and focus.  Engaging stakeholders involves building rapport and then maintaining a positive relationship throughout the project.  Forming a constructive relationship with your stakeholders makes it easier to achieve requirement approval.

As a Business Analyst, you own the requirements process and the business own the actual requirements.  Let’s look at the key stakeholders you will engage with and their main responsibilities within the context of requirements.

Project Sponsor

The Sponsor may be referred to as the owner of the requirements.  They have overall responsibility for ensuring that the requirements satisfy the business goals.  The sponsor has sign off powers but may delegate these and day to day involvement in the project, to a representative, empowered to make decisions on their behalf.  You must keep the Sponsor and their representatives up to speed concerning the progress and accuracy of the evolving requirements.  The sponsor is the final escalation point for issues and concerns.

Project Manager

The Project Manager has responsibility for the successful planning, execution, monitoring, control and closure of a project. The Project Manager must ensure that the project is delivered on time and within budget which means they must be satisfied that the solution will be designed and built from the requirements within the project constraints.  You must report progress, raise issues and negotiate scope, effort and timescales with the Project Manager.

System End User

The System End User has responsibility for representing the views of those who will use the system on a day to day basis.  They must be satisfied that the requirements are properly specified and workable from a user perspective.  You must ensure that the end users have their say in the requirements.  However, it’s worthwhile remembering that subject matter experts may not always be the most up to date with strategic developments and sometimes we actually know more than they do.

IT Developers

The IT Developer has responsibility for creating the new IT system so that it satisfies the requirements and ultimately the business goals. They must ensure that the system can be built within the Project constraints.  A developer cannot say that the requirements are right or wrong but they can say whether or not they are fit for purpose  You must make sure that the Developers are satisfied that the requirements are complete and feasible.


The Tester has responsibility for testing that the new IT system, evaluating the results and escalating problems found.   You must check the testers are happy that the requirements have been specified in such a way as to be unambiguous and testable.

Subject Matter Expert

The Subject Matter Expert (SME) has responsibility for providing the specialist knowledge of the business system to be improved.  They must ensure that the requirements take into account their specialist knowledge and ideas.  You must work with the SME to ensure they are satisfied that the requirements meet the goals of the business domain.

It is critically important to the success of your requirements that the stakeholders understand, accept and carry out their responsibilities within the agreed constraints.



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