ViaData has, since the company was founded, placed considerable emphasis on defining requirements clearly, unambiguously and completely, having recognised that this aspect of the systems development life cycle is often the most poorly performed in any systems development project. Indeed, statistics from various studies, including that of The Standish Group [Standish Group International (1999). Chaos: A Recipe for Success] show that the top two reasons for failed projects are firstly incomplete requirements, and secondly the lack of user involvement.

ViaData addresses both of these issues by carrying out a comprehensive requirements definition with full user involvement, as well as through the use of its Catalyst™ prototyping tool. Data modelling is an integral part of the requirements definition process, for the reasons stated previously. Furthermore, we test and prototype (and, therefore, verify) the accuracy and completeness of the requirements definition through the use of our unique Catalyst™ prototyping and development environment.

The Catalyst™ platform allows ViaData to fully test the implementation of a requirements definition in a working prototype before the full system is developed. In addition, this prototype can then be used as the basis for the developed system, saving a significant amount of time and money for the client.

It is always imperative to have full client involvement in this phase, as it directly impacts on software quality. Realistic expectations should be clearly set out - as an example, not every single project requirement will be elicited at the start of the project, simply because people can't think of everything at once, but that can be managed by the Catalyst™ prototyping and development system. A Catalyst™ facilitator will therefore not have to dictate that requirements are cast in stone at the beginning of a project, as Catalyst™ allows for flexibility both during and after the development cycle. [ more - case studies - Old Mutual, Santam ]
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