Writing Requirements that Effectively Communicate Business Needs to IT

Techniques for Specifying Business and Stakeholder Requirements for an IT Project

Course Duration: 7 hours hours
Web-delivered, Instructor-led Pricing: $795/person.

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Requirements for information technology (IT) solutions come in different flavors, yet all share the goal of defining (at an appropriate level of detail) the features, functions, qualities, and usage of a future application. Effective, well-written requirement statements achieve that goal in terms that both the business and IT communities understand and support. Requirements are the language in which the business community communicates its needs to those responsible for delivering information technology. Whether your organization adopts an "Agile", "Iterative", or "Waterfall" methodology for delivering software applications, the business community and developers need to communicate effectively. The critical difference between these methodologies is the timing of the communication and the structure of the requirements themselves.

This exercise-rich, interactive class presents techniques for expressing user requirements in plain English. You will learn the importance of scope and vision statements and essential components of written requirements. Applying the presented methods will help you reduce the complexity, avoid redundancy, identify and reduce ambiguity, minimize misunderstandings, and improve the testability of your written requirements. Whether you are the one in need of software, the product owner on an Agile project, a professional business analyst, or simply "wearing the BA hat", improving your requirements writing skills can significantly reduce the cost of your software projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply 5 simple rules for writing effective requirement statements
  • Express stakeholder requirements in a user story structure
  • Write requirements at the level of detail appropriate for the target audience
  • Contrast functional and non-functional requirements and defend their relationship
  • Analyze vision and scope statements for IT projects
  • Describe the purpose and recommended structure of all levels of requirements
  • Develop business use cases based on detailed solution requirements
  • Create a defendable trail from the project vision statement to the IT solution
  • Critique and improve user requirements written by others at all levels of detail
Detailed View

1 What Are Requirements, Anyway

2 Five Simple Rules for Writing Effective Requirement Statements

3 Getting Down to Business (Requirements)

4 Identifying Stakeholders Early Reduces Scope Creep

5 Solution Requirements Define the Entire Business Soluton

6 Finding and Writing JIT (Just in Time) Transition Requirements

7 Improving Your Requirement Writing Skills

Anyone who need to write what the business community needs from a proposed IT application, including:
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Product Owners
  • Business Process Managers
  • Business Process Users
  • Product and Project Managers
  • Line Managers
  • Business System Analysts
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About author:

Tom has been in business analysis since long before it was called business analysis. He has over 30 years experience in the fields of information technology, methodologies, and business analysis. In his writings and lectures he strives for enlightening while entertaining. As a facilitator, he achieves results through inclusion and synergistic group-building. He has taught thousands of students business and systems analysis skills since the '80's and has facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc.).

2 Responses to “Writing Requirements that Effectively Communicate Business Needs to IT”

  1. Monique McKenzie says:

    I just recently joined the team and would like to get comprehensive training on business analyst techniques and improve my business requirements writing skills. As someone who was initially a contractor, I did not have any specific formal trianing in this area. I’d like to do so at this point.

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