So, you have at least one person assigned to the project…

3) The evaluation/gating continues to a point where a solution approach can be decided on.
This generally means the gathering and documenting of High-Level Requirements, essentially what the delivered result of the IT project will do that may make it valuable. “High-Level” means enough content to support the evaluation, but almost never enough detail that one could start designing the solution; the latter would take much more effort that would be wasted if the project does proceed beyond the next gate.

There is no standard for what high-level requirements look like or how they are documented; the only thing that is important is that they are documented in an agreed way so they can be successfully communicated to all interested audiences. This is not easy, it is usually the main problem described in industry articles about why IT Projects fail so often; the requirements were incorrect.

4) Once an agreement is reached with the business on the High-Level Requirements, the Business Analyst and/or Project Manager investigate the possible solution approaches that the IT Project could use to deliver the desired result.

I am still trying to find the original source for one of my favourite quotes that applies to IT projects: “Re-Use Before Buy, Buy Before Build, Build for Re-Use”. However, Component Source uses the following version “Reuse Before you Buy before you Build™”, trade-marked no less. Good for them, because I believe it is a powerful concept, and worth exploring in depth.

Next time: Re-Use Before Buy

David Wright, @dwwright99 at

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