How to gather requirements to start a project?

This is an important first step to gather all information in order to define what is expected outcome of the project.


1 week




Project manager, Product manager, Design manager, UX designer


Getting Started

Before starting a project, it is essential to have the requirements in place that include what the users want from your project. 


  • To know sufficient about what is expected from a project.

  • To meet user expectations.

  • To deliver complete solutions.

  • To have a clear project brief that enables the team to start working on the project.

  • To discover and understand what is required from the project.

Requirement gathering is done by getting information from stakeholders as well as by conducting research activities based on the project's needs. 


Different research activities conducted to gather data are:

  1. Stakeholder Interviews

  2. Desk research or secondary research

  3. Workshops and brainstorming sessions

  4. Observation methods like ‘shadowing’

  5. Audit an existing or competitor products


Once the data is collected, it needs to be formulated into requirements. Most often the data is unstructured or in various different formats and to make sense of it, different methods are used.

A few of the most popular methods are:

  1. Affinity Maps: To identify groups of information and thus themes emerge from a sundry list of pointers or notes. The themes can be related to product features and user stories leading to requirements creation. 

These data visualization methods help in making sense of data and understanding the expected product behavior. It becomes possible to identify gaps or requirements needed to create the desired product. 

Formulating Requirements

Pointers collected from data synthesis of research data are translated into requirements by using methods like Value Proposition Canvas.


Prioritizing requirements is done with different methods like the Feature-Value Matrix, Eisenhower Matrix, etc. 

The scope of the project should be kept in mind while gathering requirements. This should prevent probable scope creep or gradual pile-up of unnecessary requirements while the project is in progress.

How to?

    1. Preparatory research

    2. Stakeholder interviews

    3. Data Analytics

    4. Bugs/ error reports from past versions, if any

Do’s & Don'ts



1. Be specific

2. Ensure comprehension so that nothing is missed out.

3. Prevent scope creep during the project.

4. Clearly prioritize the requirements.

1. Don’t have conflicting requirements.

3. Don’t be vague about the priorities of the requirements.

4. Don’t include requirements that are beyond the project scope. 


Suggested Tools 

  • Jira

  • GoogleDocs 

  • GoogleSheets

  • Office365



Other Related Best Practices

  • Project Scoping

  • Project Planning