Building requirements for any marketing project requires many hats in order to guide to a successful finish. Here are some of the top skills needed to ensure you are creating thorough requirements for your marketing stakeholders, creative, and development teams.

1. BE A COACH - Strategy and teamwork

A good athletic coach shows up before the rest of the team, shares strategy before the play, and allows others opportunities to share their ideas. If the coach rolls in at the start of the game, the result will be a team having to roll with whatever punches the other team throws their way.

  • DO NOT wait for the plan to be handed to you
  • DO participate early in the process to guide and influence the project
  • DO set proper expectations throughout the project
  • DO establish habitual contact and communication with your stakeholders

2. BE AN ARCHITECT - Collaboration and communication

A good architect communicates with their client prior to the inception of the project to understand requirements. She then translates them into a design that the layman client can approve--and the expert contractor can use to create. They adjust the design as the client or contractor makes last minute changes and they keep all parties informed. And most of all, they are transparent about issues along the way. If the architect does not share the design early on, obtain approval, or stick around to see how the project goes, it is sure to be a failure. Success is built around the ownership they feel until the project is complete.

  • DO NOT attempt to put a project together on your own
  • DO collaborate with your stakeholders and developers to build requirements that are clear to understand, approve, and initiate--and be transparent about concerns or issues, always trying to provide an alternative solution
  • DO be flexible for the unknown and track, document, and manage change throughout the project
  • DO assume ownership of the project and oversee from beginning to end

3. BE AN EVENT COORDINATOR - Planning and preparation

A good event coordinator creates a smooth event beyond the things you is the little things you do not see that make it a spectacular memory for all. The event coordinator is always looking for the things, good and bad, that happen in between the main events. For example, if an event coordinator does not ensure the bride has a place to hide before the ceremony, her dress reveal can be a disappointment. Thinking about this before the ceremony and discussing options in advance will help the bride and her guests have a more exciting and more satisfying experience.

  • DO NOT wait until the project start or finish to find the resulting user experience
  • DO think ahead, step by step, as to how the finished product should function
  • DO collaborate with your stakeholder, design, UX, and development team to find solutions to process steps, anomalies, and other outliers to factor them early into the requirements and document concerns and considerations and any resulting decisions along the way

4. BE A CONTRACTOR - Prioritization and transparency

Similarly to the architect, a good building contractor will help ensure that a project continues on schedule and the right jobs are done in the right order. If a house build is started just before a snowy winter, the contractor will make sure to have the roof and exterior completed before the interior jobs so that the interior is not damaged. If the client requests to have the kitchen put together before the roof is finished, the contractor should strongly advise the client of the risks and costs associated with such a request and work with them on a decision that makes the most sense.

  • DO NOT allow stakeholders or "HiPPO" (highest paid person's opinion) to over-commit or perform tasks in an order that does not achieve a usable product
  • DO document what MVP is versus non-MVP with your stakeholder as early as possible and be transparent on progress, preventing surprises
  • DO lay out stories or tasks with your creative or development team, using the requirements to guide priorities in an order that provides MVP (most viable product) in the event time or budget affects the outcome

Know your team and your product as best as you can and partner with your stakeholder to create meaningful products and tools using communication, collaboration, and transparency. Being flexible and agile, you and your team will be able to handle anything that comes your way!