Allinio strongly believes that the key to any successful Marketing Automation requirements analysis is to identify what the new system will do for all appropriate users and stakeholders, and what those users and stakeholders need it to do do. Various techniques can be employed to ascertain requirements, which need to be clear, concise, and relevant to the organization. When employed properly, requirements that may conflict each other can be discovered and resolved early in the process. Once the analysis is complete a written document should be created that is the roadmap for addressing all of your organization’s Marketing Automation needs.
A typical requirements analysis exercise conducted by Allinio would look like this:
Part 1: Identify Stakeholders & Define Stakeholder needs – First state exactly who the project’s executive sponsor is; it is essential that all stakeholders know who has the final decision making responsibility for the project’s scope. Then identify the key people within Marketing and Sales (and perhaps IT) who will have a stake in the project and the direct users of the platform. The project is must also meet their needs, and their inputs must be taken into consideration. Each and every stakeholder must understand and be able to articulate what they need a marketing automation platform to do and in the process define their roles and responsibilities within the organization in order to understand how the various stakeholders will affect one another on a daily basis.
Part 2: Categorize System Requirements – To facilitate analysis, the requirements may be categorized as follows:
- Functional Requirements, which define how a product/service/solution should function from the end-user’s perspective
- Operational Requirements, which define operations that must be executed for the product duration and the ultimate workflows resulting from the project
- Technical Requirements, which define the technical issues that must be considered for successful execution
- Transitional Requirements, which are needed to implement the new product or process smoothly
Part 3: Interpret & Record Requirements – Determine which requirements are achievable, and how the system or product can deliver them:
- Define requirements precisely to avoid ambiguity and transparency, and to ensure that business objectives are met
- Identify which requirements are the most critical, and which are expendable
- Fully understand the consequences the project will have for existing processes, systems, and staff
- Resolve any conflicting requirements issues with stakeholder input
- Determine the reliability and usability of the platform
Once everything is analyzed, present your key results and a detailed report of the business needs to the major stakeholders and have them distribute the report to subordinate stakeholders for a deadlined feedback session.
Part 4: Sign Off – Once relevant feedback has been incorporated into the report, actually get sign-off from major stakeholders, signifying their agreement that the requirements as documented indeed reflect their what they want. Such an action helps keep the execution focused when political winds may shift and “scope of work” may be pressured to stretch without expectation of re-negotiated consideration.
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