In software development projects, one of the most hated sentence by customers is when you say to him “This is a new requirement” … when we say this sentence -as a project manager or business analyst- we usually wait for an unexpected behavior from the customer 🙂
Actually both hate it, the customer and the development company. Customer hate it because it -definitely- means extra cost and time !.
The development team hate it for the following reasons:
- Project manager knows that he will get into a lot of arguments, debates, and negotiations with the customer and the development team lead about the new requirements.
- Team leader will check if this requirement needs a major or minor changes in the system architecture. Major changes mean higher cost and also some team depression.
There is a rule in software engineering saying that
“The best ever written requirement document represents only 80% of the customer vision”
I strongly believe in this rule and i consider it one of the axioms in software development, and one of the major reasons why agile development methodologies are introduced.
Development team has to deal with this rule as a fact. Customer always asks for new requirements. This is normal, and it happens all the time. Team should think how to deal with it rather than resisting it. Team should have tactics and best practices to deal with it.
One of the management tactics i followed over years, is to manage the customer expectations and psychology. I want the customer to get used to this sentence, not to hate it. Customer should be aware that we develop his ideas and thoughts, we help him get these thoughts and ideas into real life. As a result, each time he sees part of his ideas come real, he will have comments, feedback, changes and enhancements.
Also we will let him know that not all changes require extra cost and time, but in all cases, we should fill a new requirement form. We want the customer to get used to this document and this sentence too. So when you come at a time and ask him for extra money or time, you have something to negotiate with, as you did him a lot of enhancement without any trade-off.