I'm working in a company and we want to implement a document management system using SP. As a software engineer I will handle the requirement gathering. The document management system is somehow standard so the main requirement will be as follow:-

1. what are the document hierarchy for each department for example in the financial department they might have the following hierarchy:

Financial department

  • Annual report

    • 2013 reports.

    • 2012 reports.

    • Etc....

  • Employees loans

    • Bank A

    • Bank B

    • Etc...

2. Second requirement will be regarding the users permissions, for example who can add documents, edit document, delete document under each department.

So to be able to provide an agile and reliable approach to do the requirement gathering I'm planning to do the following:-

  1. I will hold a meeting with the departments mangers; where I will describe what I'm planning to build with some screens shots regarding a sample of what the document magement system is.

  2. Secondly I'm going to forward a document for each department manager to specify the following:-

    • What are the document categories hierarchy they like to have?
    • Specify the user names who can add, edit , delete, view the department documents?

Is the above approach considered an accurate method to follow, or it will not be a professional way to do a requirement gathering?

1 Answer 1


Instead of "having a meeting" and "forward a document to each department manager to specify the following..." I would arrange a workshop. The goal of the workshop would be to educate users of what a SharePoint Document Library is, and of what benefit it can be for it's users in the first place. Users would test the use of a document library themselves, to further enforce knowledge and the feeling of using a document library.

When I feel that participating users are comfortable with the document library usage, I would switch focus to the managed metadata term sets. I would let representatives from each department add post-it notes on a whiteboard, where each post-it contained only one category. Users are encouraged to add as many categories they can think of on the whiteboard.

When the session is over I would together with the users group categories together which are duplicates and synonyms. That way you'll get both preferred terms and synonyms through a user driven approach. Categories and synonyms would be added to our term store.

This approach takes more effort, but the odds of a successful launch increase if users have participated.

More to read: How to run a user-centered, requirements gathering workshop

  • but as it is my first project on sharepoint so till now I do not have a working SharePoint project to enable users to use the system. So if I follow my approach -although it might not be the best approach- would it be considered a good and professional approach and I will be able to identify the requirement for a document management system ?
    – John Peter
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 9:29
  • 1
    @JohnPeter Sure, it would be considered professional and old style. Not at all agile but rather a waterfall methodology which have been deprecated for at least 10 years. It works, but users tend to be less happy with that solution.
    – Benny Skogberg
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 9:55

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