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Commitment is critical to the success of any system or software development effort. By commitment, I mean the following:

  • An atmosphere of cooperation and collegial problem solving among the project stakeholders is created at the beginning of the project and maintained throughout its performance period.
  • The stakeholders pledge themselves to a jointly developed definition (shared vision) of project success.
  • The parties entrust to resolve issues and problems.
  • Mechanisms to maintain a joint approach such as a mutually developed vision statement, a definition of project success, a statement of common goals and guiding principles, and a procedure to resolve issues are provided.

How can commitment be attained and maintained? One approach that has been used successfully is "Partnering." Partnering is described in Effective Requirements Practices, suggested templates are provided, and recommendations to assist in evolving a partnering approach are suggested. A sample table of contents for a project requirements plan is provided. The use of an organizational set of "Rules of Conduct" is recommended.