How do you resolve an issue involving conflicting requirements from two or more stakeholders?

In order to determine what action should be taken to resolve conflicting requirements, the analyst must first determine the root cause of the conflict.  The causes of conflicting requirements are typically the same, time and time again.  Here are a couple of the more typical causes and how you might deal with them.

1) One or more of the stakeholders/groups misunderstand the higher level divisional or company goals which are driving their specific requirement.  This leads them to push for a process or system requirement that is not in line with the true needs of the business. 

2) Both stakeholders/groups understand the higher level divisional or company goals, but each group supports the company goals in very different ways.  Both have legitimate needs which are relevant, but they fail to realize that one group’s contributions to the company’s strategic vision may have less impact than the other.  This creates a difference in the way the needs of each group get prioritized at a company level.  So while one group may have a need which conflicts in some way with the other, one will almost certainly take precedence.

3) Both stakeholders/groups have the same goal, but they disagree over the best course of action for meeting the goal.  They may disagree over the best way to revise a business process or the best user flow through a system.

Chris Adams
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posted @ Saturday, October 3, 2009 2:49 PM by Chris Adams