Active stakeholder participation is vital to the success of IT projects. Stakeholders should be kept engaged throughout the life of the project. Without the fully engaged cooperation of the stakeholders, it is difficult to have a successful software development project. This is especially true in agile development, where everything is moving very quickly and so much depends on the Product Owner obtaining a complete understanding of the stakeholder needs and communicating these needs to the development team.
The most important and obvious involvement for the stakeholder is during requirements development. Stakeholders have the most knowledge of the processes involved and their input is imperative to your project’s success. Using the requirements, the stakeholders can stay involved during the rest of project.
In the design phase, the stakeholders need to be involved to verify that their requirements are correctly interpreted into the design. The stakeholders often need to clarify requirements in both the design and development activities. The stakeholders can use the requirements and design documents to plan for necessary changes to the business processes and business rules while the developers are working on the program code.
In User Acceptance Testing (UAT), the stakeholders can validate that the developers correctly converted the design into the expected functional product. After delivery, stakeholders should be asked if the product satisfied their needs and met the business objectives. They are asked questions like:
• Was the product outcome what they anticipated?
• Was their user group made aware of process modifications due to software improvements?
• Were their needs addressed?
Collaboration with the stakeholders throughout the project will make the majority of these answers affirmative and make sure all of the steps are less painful, as well as reducing time and money spent on re-work.