There's a good article on Projects@Work about a project manager who won an iPod by submitting his story to a "Requirements Horror Story" contest.
I can relate to his horror as his boss touted their software's ability to "solve anything" to a client---software that, by the way, didn't exist yet.
His story makes the point that, unless there are agreed-upon requirements, there's no way to tell when the project is over.
I've sometimes had this debate with clients who are afraid to commit to requirements, preferring to keep things loose. While I'm all for "managing to the present understanding," and allowing for the ability to change course based on learnings, this should all be coordinated and agreed upon at every step of the way. There should at least be an initial set of requirements or objectives. It's hard to redirect your course if you have no course.
Here's the article. Maybe you have your own requirements horror story to share!http://www.projectsatwork.com/content/Articles/234766.cfm
Labels: course, project-manager, project-requirements, software