Business requirements collected from different sources may conflict with each other. Imagine a computer with built-in software, connected to the Internet and intended for shoppers (those who buy at food stand). As this stand is created, the following business-goals should be met:
- acquisition of income by leasing or selling the stand to the seller;
- distribution of consumer goods to customers;
- attraction of the customers’ attention to the brand;
- Provision of a wide range of products.
The business interests of the retailer are as follows:
- maximum increase in income obtained from renting available territory;
- attraction of more customers to the store;
- increase in sales and profit level, if the stand was of no use anymore because the automated processes were replaced by manual operations.
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The developer sometimes wants to make the stand high-tech and fascinating for buyers. The seller needs a simple system that is completely ready for use, whereas such attributes as convenience and functionality are important for the customer.
The tension between these three parties with their various objectives, constraints and budget may lead to inconsistencies in the business requirements. The one who finances the project, should resolve these conflicts before the analyst details system requirements and software requirements to the stand. The main attention should be paid to the fundamental tasks that promise maximum commercial profits. ( “The sales will increase and new customers will be attracted.”) – At the same time, one can easily switch attention to external product characteristics (“innovative user-Interface that attracts customers”), which do not meet real business goals. In addition, the one (or those) who finance the project should be able to resolve conflicts of various persons interested in the project – do not expect that the developers themselves will gain insight on the problem.
The more stakeholders become known and more groups of sponsors with competing interests appear, the more likely that the scope of the project will be increased. Uncontrolled growth in the scope due to the fact that the interested persons are trying to satisfy everyone’s desire, can lead to the fact that the project will collapse under its own weight, and produce no valuable results. Such conflicts often can be resolved only through a political and brutal struggle.