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Using Project Goals to Filter Requirements

Project Planning TemplatesOne of the primary purposes of goals is to act as a filter for subsequent requirements.

If a particular requirement cannot be traced back through higher-level goals to the overall project vision then it should be dropped since it will be outside the scope of the project.

For example, if the overall vision for the project was to “Deliver the best sales and marketing system on the market” an appropriate sub-goal might be “to deliver a sales-order processing system for use throughout all international offices”. An inappropriate sub-goal would be “to deliver an invoicing system” since the invoicing system would be part of the financial system and not the sales system.

This process of filtering should be used throughout the project to assess requests for extra functionality and to consider them for inclusion within the project. The use of such filtering techniques gives you a method with which to avoid the perils of “scope creep”.

The link between low and high level goals can be fundamentally important. By linking them together you can track your progress through the objectives of your product. By delivering low level goals you build up to the delivery of high level goals and ultimately the delivery of the completed project. This is known as traceability.

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