Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video Gather requirements, part of Business Analysis Foundations.
- Creating a shopping list for an important dinner party is very similar to gathering requirements. You need to know who is coming, what they want for dinner, and what they like and don't like. As the host of the party, you need to know what is already in the pantry, what budget you have, and the amount of time in which you need to pull it all together and get dinner on the table. While guessing works sometimes, this dinner will make or break your next promotion chance, so gathering the right information is imperative. Relying on just one source of information gathering will increase the risk of not achieving the outcomes of the project.
Some elicitation techniques benefit from reviewing documentation outputs with stakeholders, to ensure that the analyst understanding aligns to the actual desires or intent of the stakeholders. In preparing to interact with stakeholders, gather the written stuff first. Here are a number of ways to Source Requirements. Firstly, Analyzing processes and use cases. Documents that detail the work being performed. Inspecting artifacts such as forms, reports, screens, characteristics, quality.
Understanding models. Existing swimlanes or system flowcharts. Existing features. Examples are often found in existing offerings. And finally, Providing prototypes. A visual representation of the expected output. There is nothing better than engaging stakeholders throughout the requirements' life cycle. They provide the ability to qualify, quantify, verify, and validate the other analysis activities performed and allow you to test your underlying assumptions and constraints with instant feedback.
The Stakeholder Interaction can be carried out in a number of ways. Through Interviewing, great for listening detailed information from individuals. Brainstorming, a group technique that provides a broad spectrum of ideas and information, and helps derive themes for further analysis. Observing a job, assessing a role or process from users' interaction perspective. And Surveying, a way to elicit information from many people in a short period of time.
Project sponsors don't like surprises. Though the Stakeholder Interaction activities stage seem to take forever in their eyes, they'd be warned. Failing to gather the quality requirements in the planning phase of the project will only cause far greater problems and time pressures later in the executing and testing phases. The process of eliciting, analyzing, documenting and communicating requirements is an integral part of the business analyst's role, and the risk of project success and failure depends on the quality of the requirements captured.
To ensure you gather meaningful requirements, watch each one collected against the top 10 Checklist for Requirements Quality. Is the requirement: Necessary? In scope? Specific? Measurable? Achievable? Realistic? Traceable? Grammatically correct? Identified and organized? And finally, Does it define the "what," not the "how"? You've decided to impress and will be serving shellfish to your boss.
They delimit the potential of this decision being a career-limiting move, we'd want to move away from defining the solution too early by having answers to questions such as, "Do they like shellfish?" "Are they allergic to shellfish?" "When did they last eat shellfish?" "Do they find it too messy?" "Do they love the taste but not the smell?" Assuming the answers to these questions could be deadly. Seeing what your boss had for dinner at a restaurant, spending one-on-one time with the boss, sending a menu in advance, or asking other bosses what they have previously served are all ways to gather and verify what could work in your situation.
Gathering quality requirements is imperative in determining what it is that stakeholders are requesting. Serve the right meal, and you, too, could be taking the next step in your career.
Discover where business analysis lives in the project life cycle, how to initiate a project, the best way to gather requirements, and smart strategies to monitor results and test outcomes.
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- Understanding what business analysts do
- Defining business opportunities and objectives
- Identifying stakeholders
- Gathering requirements through observation and brainstorming
- Validating requirements
- Developing project acceptance criteria
- Implementing, testing, and closing your project<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.