Note: My thoughts are primarily geared towards new features where validation requirements are an unknown.
My best advice is to bring in more people earlier in your development process to help review and validate the project. Changes are less expensive earlier in the process, and by involving more people while still in low res mockups makes changes cheap and uncovers these types of validation issues.
These don't have to be formal meetings you need to get on people's calendar (though there can be value to that as well, which I'll discuss in a moment). It can be as simple as creating your low res mocks on a whiteboard in a heavily trafficked area where you can grab people as they walk by for opinions or input. It can be popping into a neighbor's cube with a highlighter and a sketch. You could simply post your designs in a public area.
There could also be value in gathering a small group of stakeholders for a quick review of low res mocks prior to refinement. Getting together a BA, PO, QA, Dev, and any relevant higher ups can help uncover a number of potential design issues, such as issues with dependencies, architecture, and validation. If you opt for this route, there are a few things you can do to make sure this doesn't become another cumbersome time suck:
- Make it a short standard half-hour meeting with a rotating group of attendees.
- Come prepared to present the designs you've been working on.
- Prepare a list of no more than two targeted questions.
- If you are having issues with validation, be sure to ask specifically for potential validation issues.
There are a number of other benefits of having this kind of meeting. You get better feedback for iteration, your company gets better awareness of projects down the pipeline, and it grows organizational awareness and interdepartmental working relationships.
What do you think? Would either of these approaches be useful for you?