ConflictingRequirements

Different people want different things, or the same person wants two things mutually incompatible

Description

Different people want different things, or the same person wants two things mutually incompatible.  Detection and resolution of these conflicts is necessary.

Discussion

There are several forms of conflicting requirement.  Where the product or product line is selling to different markets they may have conflicting requirements.  Where there are more than one individual within a single customer organization supplying requirements, their differing needs may supply conflicting requirements.  Even where one individual is the sole source of requirements, these requirements may conflict with each other.  The extreme example of this is the classic tale of the customer that wants a low cost, high quality, bespoke product, delivered tomorrow.

Prevention, Amelioration, Cure

Traditional

Where dealing with different customers or markets that conflict, it is a reasonable solution to try and give each what it wants.  The project will benefit from being structured appropriately, as in the OrganizationFollowsMarket pattern.  It may help for each group of users to have its own ProductChampion to forward their interests.  Requirements Analysis is usually performed with the goals of classifying and organizing requirements, and, among other things, detecting conflicts.  One particular approach is ObjectOrientedAnalysis, but the topic of requirements analysis in general is considered to be mainstream and will not be covered here.

Modern

The practice of dealing with conflicts in requirements between different stakeholders by JointApplicationDesign is now of sufficient seniority that it may be called traditional, yet I classify it as a modern method, used in agile methodologies.

References

1. Agile Requirements Challenge #5. Conflicting Project Stakeholder Priorities