Needs Analysis for Web Development

When it comes to web development, the devil is in the detail. This is especially true in the case of corporate management systems;  every level of organisational structure adds additional complication and time to the overall project. Identifying the specifications for a centralised system can be daunting and downright confusing, which is why it’s important for us to identify each clients specific needs in order to ensure satisfaction with the end product. There are lots of concerns within a business, so establishing what they are is important. A Needs Analysis also plays a major role in how effective the project plan is. Here's what guides us in conducting one.

What is a Needs Analysis?

A Needs Analysis is performed to identify the flow of information within an organisation. You should be striving to provide a user centred designed.  This means creating a tailor-made system for your client by determining who the users are, their experience levels, their objectives and tasks and what functionality they want from the system. The Needs Analysis focuses on these specifications which are used to create the specific requirements in the desired system.

Steps for a Successful Needs Analysis

Always start by compiling questions. The initial target is the key stakeholders; they have important influences on the direction in which the system should go. Once we have answers from them, we tweak the next set of questions based on those answers. These revised questions will be answered by top level management and finally, the departments within the business.

This research concentrates on covering the biggest and most important issues that can be addressed by the new system to be put in place. It must be filtered into key findings and recommended actions.  The Needs Analysis tries to understand the flow of information.

The techniques used to perform an effective need analysis include:

1. Surveys

Surveys can be administered online or in person, depending on the location.

They involve:   

• Assessing the opinions of staff   

• Measuring staff satisfaction   

• Gathering evidence for a business case

2. Focus Groups

These entail holding a session that is run throughout the organisation to create a representative sample, meaning the group must be representative of the organisation as a whole. They aim to aid in planning the questions for staff interviews while exploring current issues and problems

3. Stakeholder interviews

These may influence the type of questions asked during staff interviews and are generally used to explore higher level issues.

4. Staff interviews

Staff interview questions serve the purpose of:   

• Uncovering staff needs   

• Focusing on the functions and roles of each staff member   

• What activities they are involved in   

• The information they require and where they currently acquire it

The kind of questions that are asked are very important; we ask participants questions in a way that does not assume that they are experts. 

A Needs Analysis is a process that entails identifying the individual needs of an organisation and determining how to go about meeting them. The process gives clarity on what specifications to add. Using the right techniques to acquire information and asking the right questions in questionnaires not only makes it easier for the users to give the answers you’re looking for but also makes your job of meeting their needs easier. 

 

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