December 12, 2022

How to create clear requirements and scope in a software development project?

Gabor Koncz

Creating clear requirements and scope in a software development project is crucial for the success of the project. Without a clear understanding of what needs to be done, the project is likely to face delays, cost overruns, and ultimately fail to meet the needs of the stakeholders. In this post, I will explain how to create clear requirements and scope in a software development project.

Step 1: Identify stakeholders

The first step in creating clear requirements and scope is to identify the stakeholders of the project. These are the individuals or groups who will be affected by the project, either directly or indirectly. Stakeholders can include the project sponsor, the end users of the software, the development team, and other parties who may be impacted by the project. It is important to identify all stakeholders and involve them in the requirements and scope-defining process.

Step 2: Collect requirements from stakeholders

Once the stakeholders have been identified, the next step is to gather their requirements. This can be done through a variety of methods, including interviews, surveys, focus groups, and workshops. The goal is to understand the needs, goals, and expectations of each stakeholder and to document these in a requirements document. The requirements document should be detailed, clear, and concise, and should include both functional and non-functional requirements.

Step 3: Define project scope

After the requirements have been gathered and documented, the next step is to define the scope of the project. The scope defines the boundaries of the project and includes the features, functions, and deliverables that will be included in the final software product.

It is important to be specific and realistic in defining the scope, as this will help to prevent scope creep, which can cause delays and cost overruns. The scope should also be documented and communicated to all stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Step 4: Create a project plan

Once the requirements and scope have been defined, the next step is to create a project plan. The project plan should include a timeline, budget, and resources required to complete the project. It should also include contingencies for potential risks and changes to the project. The project plan should be reviewed and approved by all stakeholders before the project begins.

Step 5, ongoing: Regular reviews, reporting

During the development phase, it is important to regularly review and assess the progress of the project. This can be done through regular meetings with the development team, progress reports, and demos of the software. The requirements and scope should also be revisited and revised as necessary to ensure that the project is on track to meet the needs of the stakeholders.


In conclusion, creating clear requirements and scope in a software development project is essential for the success of the project. By identifying and involving all stakeholders, gathering and documenting their requirements, defining the scope of the project, creating a project plan, and regularly reviewing and assessing progress, you can ensure that your software development project meets the needs of the stakeholders and is completed on time and within budget.

Really?! ...

Even though most of these steps are obvious for software project managers (and here is the trap), my experience is that 90% of the problems in software development projects could be solved just by following these 5 very simple steps and implement these principles in a disciplined manner.

Life is simple, we make it unnecessarily complicated.

Gabor Koncz
CEO, Founder