Software requirements planning

Elkera helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to effectively
plan new software projects to minimise risks and maximise business benefits.

We help you to define your goals, analyse and optimise business processes, build a business case, elicit and define requirements, and procure
the right software.  With Elkera’s planning assistance, you will maximise return on investment (ROI) and satisfy your system users.

The path to project success begins with expert planning

The risks of software project failure

According to reports by major research organisations, only around 30% of software projects are rated as successful. Most fall short of expectations. At least 20% of projects are outright failures.

To be successful, a software project must deliver business benefits that justify the expenditure involved and the delivered product must satisfy its users. Based on reported statistics, many projects do not meet those objectives.  Many organisations are wasting large amounts of scarce financial and human capital, and disillusioning their users.

Essential elements of software project success

A successful project addresses real business problems, has clear objectives, takes account of all stakeholder needs, is aligned to optimised business processes, has a credible business case, and has clear, prioritised requirements.

Those elements are all addressed during the project planning stage. It requires skill and experience to successfully guide an organisation through each of those planning issues.

The problem for many SMEs

Many SMEs lack the in-house expertise that is essential to successful software project planning. As a result, the risks of project failure or under-performance are likely to fall disproportionately on those SMEs.

In an attempt to save money, managers of SMEs may be tempted to rely on non-expert in-house personnel to lead the planning of their software projects. Unfortunately, doing so is probably the biggest single risk factor for a software project. It is a false economy.

Consequences of unskilled project planning

Without expert planning assistance, it is likely that:

  • The root causes of business problems may not be accurately assessed and defined.
  • Business goals may not be clearly or adequately defined.
  • All relevant stakeholders may not be identified and consulted.
  • There may be no effective way to mediate between competing claims of operational managers. Sectional interests may override organisational interests.
  • Sub-optimal business processes may not be objectively reviewed and optimised to minimise the complexity and cost of a new system. You may plan your new system around obsolete processes and poor quality reports based on existing manual spread sheets.
  • There may be no reliable business case for your project.
  • Requirements may not be aligned to business needs, leading to waste and lost opportunities.
  • Incorrect assumptions may be made about the use of particular products and technologies, leading to selection of the wrong solution.
  • Your requirements may not be comprehensive, clear and testable.

The short-term savings from reliance on non-expert personnel is likely to lead to long term losses from wasted investment, forgone opportunities for your business and dissatisfied system users.

How Elkera Can Help

Elkera will help you level the playing field by providing expert help for the time that you need it. Elkera carefully tailors it’s service to deliver just what your project demands. You can be confident that the benefits from Elkera’s expert planning assistance will amply justify the investment involved.

Elkera has more than 20 years of software project experience. We have planned and developed multiple complex software applications (not our current business) and worked extensively with clients to plan business change, define requirements and deliver successful business results. We understand the pitfalls involved in planning new software projects and we also understand the critical elements in project success.

Elkera’s consultant will guide you through all critical steps. Elkera will help you to clearly define the problems to be solved and your business goals, plan necessary change, develop a business case, identify and document requirements, undertake procurement, and manage a successful deployment.

No two organisations are the same and no two software projects are the same. Projects vary greatly in scale and complexity. Elkera will carefully tailor its solution approach to your specific needs.

Your investment in planning will minimise risks and maximise the benefits from your project.

The Benefits of Elkera’s Expert Planning Assistance

Elkera will help setup your project to minimise project risks, maximise the return on your investment and satisfy your users.
Elkera will deliver those benefits through these key measures:

  • Clear project goals

    You will have clear project goals that solve clearly defined business problems.

  • Business case

    Your project goals will be prioritised to deliver real business value so you can assess the level of investment that is justified to deliver those benefits.

  • Optimised business processes

    You will understand your business processes and know where change is required to maximise the benefits of new software. You will be able to plan that change.

  • Clear requirements

    You will have clear requirements that reflect your business goals and that will support all your procurement and solution development needs. You will be able to obtain reliable estimates from solution providers

These benefits add up to greatly reduced risk, improved return on investment and more satisfied system users, all driven by your investment in planning.

The following diagram may help visualise the difference between expert and non-expert planning.

For a modest initial investment in planning work, you will maximise your total return on investment.

A line graph schematic showing project costs with and without expert planning and expected ROI with and without expert planning.

Need help?

If you need help to advocate the case for expert project planning assistance in your organisation, download our one page document:

A Pitch to Management to Engage an Expert Planning Consultant