Advice From a Project Manager: Requirements

Posted by Katie Conaway, Gian Genovesi, and Matt Trimmer

February 1, 2016 | 11:20 AM

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PM_series_requirements.pngAny eCommerce project comes about when a company has a need that is not being met. The goal of the project is typically to meet that need while making the eCommerce process and buyer’s journey easier for everyone involved.

In order to achieve the goals of the project, a list of requirements is established during the initial vision definition and information gathering portions of the project. Requirements establish how the project will take place and they continue to be referenced throughout the project to make sure that goals are being met.

While the Business Analyst is tasked with gathering all of the information for the requirements, the Project Manager is responsible for these requirements and for making sure that they are being followed. To ensure the success of your eCommerce project, make sure that the following considerations are being discussed during your project planning:


The communication requirements determine who the team needs to be talking to, what they need to talk to that person about, and how that information needs to be received. For example: you may need to talk with someone in A/R to determine how to not make their life more difficult when implementing an eCommerce site.

Questions that need to be addressed during this stage include: 

  • Who needs to be involved in the project and in what capacities?
  • How does the work of the project need to be communicated to ensure that progress is properly reflected?
  • Who are the subject matter experts?

Users, Personas, and Stakeholders of the System

These requirements answer the questions “Who is using the system and for what purposes?” Understanding the needs of the people that the system is going to service is a necessary step in launching a successful eCommerce site.

Although user experience for external users purchasing on the site is certainly important, this stage also considers the needs of internal users, such as site administrators.  

Technology Overview

The technology overview determines how the needs of the users, personas, and stakeholders will be addressed using the technologies available. This goes beyond just the platform being implemented; it includes whatever technology is in the company’s repertoire, including an ERP, payment system, etc.   

Questions to consider in this stage are: 

  • What tasks do the users, personas, and stakeholders need the technology to do for them? How will the technology available accomplish their goals?
  • Where will the processing and interaction occur within the system? How will the system function and what will the experience be for the user?
  • How will the different technologies be used given the current landscape of the system?


Now that the project team knows who they are helping, how they are helping them, and what they have to do in order to make it all work, data dependencies need to be determined. How does the established data need to be integrated to the new or existing technologies to ensure that the aforementioned goals can be accomplished? 

Keep in mind that data requirements are different for every organization, as some businesses have custom data that needs to be captured, accounted for, or created that other businesses don’t require.


Working with all members of the team after all of the other requirements have been addressed, the level of effort from all involved is estimated.

Estimation is very dependent on the data involved in the project. Levels of effort in the project will depend heavily on whether the required data already exists and is easily accessible or not. 

After the Business Analyst works with the project team to capture the proper requirements, the Project Manager takes responsibility for those requirements as they apply to the project. The PM can then lead the project while managing the requirements to ensure that the project is a success.

Are you looking to partner with an experienced Project Manager for your eCommerce project? Contact our team to get started. 

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