ILT: Writing and Managing IT Requirements – Simply Put!

Techniques for Expressing, Analyzing, and Managing Business and Stakeholder Requirements for IT Projects

Course Duration: 2 Days (14 PDU/CDU)

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Course Overview

IT Requirements Define the Technology the Business Needs

Writing effective IT requirements is a critical skill for anyone wearing the business analyst hat including subject matter experts (SMEs) who represent the business interests on an IT project. The challenge lies in defining business IT needs in the form of business requirements, stakeholder requirements, solution requirements, and transition requirements that other audiences will interpret as the author intended and use to design the right solution.

This exercise-driven business analysis workshop provides a proven set of core business analysis techniques, methods and tricks to help business analysts, product owners, and subject matter experts create, clarify, and confirm business, stakeholder, solution, and transition requirements (i.e., the kind of IT requirements that solution providers need to deliver the right information technology solutions for the business).

NOTE: The techniques taught in this course are methodology-neutral, meaning they are relevant to traditional waterfall, iterative, or Agile development environments. This instructor-led course can be delivered as a virtual lass via the Internet or live at your site.


Target Audience

The material in this course will benefit anyone involved in , including (but not limited to):

  • Business Analysts
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Agile Product Owners
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Line Managers
  • Systems Analysts
  • Software Testers
  • Solution Architects
  • AND "anyone wearing the business analysis hat"

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this skill-building experience, you can:

  • Identify the Value of High-Quality IT Requirements
  • Apply 5 simple rules to improve the understandability of your requirements
  • Categorize Business, Stakeholder, Solution (Functional and Non-Functional), and Transition Requirements
  • Translate business needs into well-structured business requirement statements
  • Write Stakeholder Requirements expressing the what and avoiding the how
  • Assess whether IT requirements are in or out of scope for the project
  • Write IT requirements that minimize the potential for misunderstanding
  • Differentiate between quantitative and qualitative measures
  • Recognize business rules and external constraints in Stakeholder Requirements
  • Verify the “testability” of Solution Requirements
  • Break business and stakeholder requirements into functional and non-functional components
  • Drill-down business and stakeholder requirements to identify functional and non-functional solution-level requirements
  • Decompose requirements and user stories to identify solution requirements
  • Describe 16 common non-functional requirement categories
  • Relate non-functional requirements to appropriate functional and informational components
  • Baseline the business requirements to set the stage for managing change
  • Develop an IT Requirements traceability matrix
  • Present the business value of IT requirements management for your organization
  • Plan to incorporate selected techniques to improve your performance on the job

Course Outline

1 The IT Requirements Enigma

The Requirements Enigma

  • Current User Requirement Structures
  • Exercise: Functional versus Non-Functional Requirements

2 Writing Business and Stakeholder Requirements

Writing Requirement Statements

  • Business and Stakeholder Requirements
  • Rules for a “Effective” Requirement Statement
  • Reducing Complexity Increases Comprehension
  • A Complete Sentence Forces a Complete Thought
  • Think “What”, Not “How”
  • Example: Creating Complete Sentence Requirements
  • Exercise: Applying the Rules

Enforcing Project Scope

  • Rules for a Relevant Requirement Statement
  • Relevant Requirements
  • Exercise 3: Components
  • Common Components of IT solutions
  • Requirements in Scope
  • The Project Scope Statement
  • Exercise: Requirement Statement Relevance
  • Rules for a “Effective” Requirement Statement

3 Avoiding Ambiguity and Subjectivity

Minimizing Ambiguity

  • Who Needs Clarity, Anyway?
  • Misinterpretation Ruins Requirements
  • Increasing Clarity of your Requirements
  • The Challenge to Understanding
  • Ambiguity Ruins Requirements
  • The Importance of Asking Questions
  • Rewriting Requirements to Reduce Ambiguity
  • Exercise: Out-of-Box Thinking to Reduce Ambiguity

Testing the Understandability of Your Requirements

  • Rules for an Effective Requirement Statement
  • Understanding Non-Functional Requirements
  • Clarifying Quantitative Performance Requirements
  • Common Measurable Requirements
  • Exercise: Clarifying Quantitative Requirements
  • Quantifying Qualitative Requirements
  • Exercise: Quantitative vs. Qualitative (Subjective)

Ambiguity Hides in Details

  • Exercise: Analyzing Performance Components
  • Constraints vs. Non-Functional Requirements
  • Clarifying Constraining (Environmental) Elements
  • Exercise: Business Rules From WasteTheWaist
  • Exercise: Applying the Rules

4 Analyzing Business and Stakeholder Requirements

Decomposing Statements Reveals Solutions

  • Discussion: Grouping Requirements
  • Value of Grouping Requirements
  • Potential Pitfalls in a Set of Requirements
  • Identifying Inconsistent Requirements
  • Exercise: Identifying Inconsistent Requirements
  • Solution Requirements Are Specific

The Functional Perspective

  • Functions Are Actions
  • The Data Dimension
  • The Problem Dimension of Requirements
  • Functions and Informational Requirements
  • Managing Informational Elements
  • Exercise: Finding Informational Requirements
  • Defining Informational Element Accuracy
  • Precision and Currency of Data Elements

The Non-Functional Side of Requirements

  • Types of Non-Functional Requirements
  • Exercise: Non-Functional in Your Environment
  • Non-Functional Requirements vs Ten Critical Questions
  • Exercise: Functional Decomposition
  • Worksheet: For Your Answer
  • Non-Functional Performance Requirements Defined
  • Evaluating Performance Requirements

5 Transforming Requirements for Clarity

More Dimensions to Consider

  • Common Subjective Performance Requirements
  • Exercise: Quantitative vs. Subjective Measures
  • Exercise: Performance-related Functions and Data
  • Decomposing Business Rules
  • Business Rule and Constraint Examples
  • Exercise: Subjective Requirements
  • Stamping Out Subjectivity
  • Exercise: Requirements Types
  • Requirements Decomposition Revisited

6 Managing IT Requirements

Requirements Management Concepts and Techniques

  • Key Aspects of Requirements Management
  • Where Does the Requirements Management Plan Fit?
  • Discussion: Requirements Management Challenges
  • Requirements Repository
  • Requirement Documentation Template(s)
  • Requirement Management Tools
  • Worksheet: RM Tool Requirements
  • Requirements Repositories

Packaging and Presenting Requirements

  • Possible Requirements Packages
  • What is a Requirements Document Really?
  • Common Requirement Containers
  • The SRS or RDD Document
  • Requirements Structure for an RDD
  • Primary Requests for External Solutions
  • Discussion: Request for Information
  • Request for Proposal TOC
  • Award Basis Criteria

Communicating Requirements

  • Requirements Communications Plan
  • Exercise: Your Requirements Communications Plan
  • Reusing Requirements
  • Requirements Re-use
  • Exercise: Benefits and Challenges of Re-Use
  • Critical Success Factors
  • Exercise: Identifying Reusable Requirements

7 From Showtime to Go Time!

Personal Improvement Plan

  • Understanding the Learning Curve
  • Developing Your Personal Implementation Plan

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