Writing Requirements for Optimal Pricing in IT Projects

When seeking IT Professional Services, the clarity and precision of your requirements can significantly influence the project’s cost. Understanding how to write effective requirements is crucial for obtaining the best pricing when going to market. Let’s explore how to create these requirements from scratch and the role of principles in this process.

Creating Effective Requirements from Scratch

Here are steps to create effective requirements:

  • Understand Your Needs: Start by clearly understanding what you need from the service or solution. What problems are you trying to solve? What are your business objectives? If these aren’t clear to you, there is no way your project will be priced well by a 3rd party.
  • Define Scope Realistically: A common tactic to deal with an unrealistic scope is to tighten down the out-of-scope section of the Statement of Work, that way everything becomes a variation. To prevent this from happening to you, outline what is within the scope, what isn’t and be realistic about what can be achieved within your budget and timeline.
  • Use Clear Language: Write requirements in simple, clear language to ensure they are easily understood by all parties. This will also make comparing multiple quotes much easier and leaves no room for interpretation.
  • Be Specific but Flexible: While it’s important to be specific, leave room for flexibility to accommodate potential changes without significant cost implications. If there is no flexibility the initial price will always be higher, vendors and integrators need to cover their risk as well.
  • Prioritize Requirements: Not all requirements are equally important. Prioritize them based on your business objectives and project goals. This will help us quote the best possible price with the least amount of wasted effort.

Role of Technology and Design Principles

Technology and design principles play a pivotal role in crafting effective requirements. They make decision making is easy for you and, if your vendors and integrators know them, you’ll almost certainly get better bang for buck:

  • Principle-Based Decision-Making: Rely on established design and technology principles to guide your decision-making. Strong, well-defined principles simplify choices, ensuring that each requirement aligns with your overarching project goals and technology standards.
  • Utilizing Templates: Employ templates as a foundational structure for your requirements. This approach ensures organization and comprehensiveness, making it easier to cover all necessary aspects without becoming overly restrictive.
  • Embracing Forward Thinking: Incorporate a forward-looking perspective into your requirements by considering when the project will realistically kick off. This approach ensures the pricing remains adaptable and sustainable, even as project scope or technology pricing inevitably changes in the future.

Solving Problems with Good Requirements

Well-written requirements solve several problems:

  • Reduced Ambiguity: Clear requirements eliminate misunderstandings, ensuring all parties are aligned.
  • Better Cost Management: By preventing scope creep and unrealistic expectations, good requirements help in controlling costs.
  • Improved Project Outcomes: We probably don’t need to say this but, they lead to more accurate project delivery, aligned with the intended goals.

The Impact of overly specific Requirements and Vague Requirements

  • Overly specific Requirements: Requirements that are excessively detailed can constrain project flexibility, resulting in increased expenses as additional effort is required to comply.
  • Vague Requirements: Vague requirements tend to also be priced higher, this compensates for the risk of misunderstandings in the scope, which can lead to additional to effort to meet the project’s needs.


By balancing specificity with flexibility and leveraging principles, you can create requirements that clearly communicate your needs and pave the way for successful project outcomes.

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