Once the project description is completed, the next step is to assess the risks and dependencies associated with the project. Knowing this information up front mitigates the risks early in the project life cycle. You must also document all assumptions. Once you obtain factual data, some of the assumptions become assertions and can be removed from the list. Some of the risk factors and dependencies for the GreaterCause application are listed in the following sections to illustrate some possibilities.
Following are some of the GreaterCause risk factors:
Portals may be restrictive in how they exchange information with GreaterCause.com site.
Will a generic composite view template with limited UI customization meet the needs of the portal providers?
Will the architecture support phase-2 functionality for funds disbursement?
Will the portal provider agree to single sign-on semantics? It is expected that the portal-domain will authenticate the user before forwarding the request to the GreaterCause.com site.
Following are some of the GreaterCause dependencies:
Project will use the Struts MVC framework. Engineers associated with this project will need to be trained on Struts.
Site functionality can only be finalized after obtaining buy-in of pilot portal-alliances.
Pilot portal-alliances must agree on using Web services for receiving the featured-NPO list.
Apart from documenting functional requirements of the system, one must also document the nonfunctional requirements that address the need for performance, load balancing, failover, platform dependencies, framework usage, adherence to standards, vendor preference, usability, etc. These are specific to organizations, applications, and platforms; as such, they will not be discussed in any detail in this book.