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Businesses today rely on application software to automate and empower essentially every single critical business process. Not an organization in the developed world can process a sale, manage their employees, or manage their financials without business software. No longer an accessory -- software is the business.

In today's challenging economic environment, project teams are being stretched to deliver against increasing business challenges to enable organizations to sharpen their competitive edge. In a global market place, this continual pressure on IT is not just stretching team capacity; it is actually stretching the organizational structure as well. In fact, in 2009, over 70 percent of business and IT teams are geographically distributed and globalization is the business driver for the majority of new projects.

With geographical distribution becoming the standard operating procedure, collaboration between business and IT teams around project requirements has become a new focal point to control project team efficiency and effectiveness. Organizations must improve the fidelity and precision of their software requirements to ensure that IT delivers the right solutions that the business needs. Communication of project requirements must evolve to eliminate the cultural, geographic, and time-zone barriers that now exist between these separated colleagues.

This paper will explore how software projects are improving the collaboration between distributed IT and business teams by focusing on requirements communication. We will explore how visual requirements simulation plays a critical role to ensure understanding and to eliminate barriers to productivity that naturally exist within distributed, global teams.

Requirements complexity increasing alongside globalization

Requirements are the blueprint to the functionality, interoperability, and integration of business software. As organizations drive to streamline, consolidate, and modernize existing applications, requirements complexity is also increasing. Requirements analysis has become a job within itself, with an emerging dedicated stakeholder (usually referred to as a business analyst or systems analyst) that services the development and communication of project requirements to business and IT stakeholders.


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