ILT: Techniques for Eliciting, Expressing, and Analyzing Lean Requirements for IT Projects

Features, User Stories, and Requirements Define the Technology the Business Needs

Course Duration: 2 Days (14 PDU/CDU)

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Course Overview

IT Requirements Define the Technology the Business Needs

Discovering and writing effective IT requirements are critical skills for business analysts, process owners, testers, and subject matter experts. Simply put, they are essential for anyone representing the business interests on an IT project. The challenge lies in defining business IT needs in a form that other audiences (i.e., developers) will interpret as the author intended and use to design and deliver the right solution. Whether you express the needs as simple requirement statements, features, User Stories, or test scenarios, they need to be understandable to all target audiences. Behavior-Driven Design (BDD) is a major step toward ensuring that IT correctly understands the intent of the requirements.

This exercise-rich, interactive business analysis workshop provides a proven set of core business analysis techniques, methods and tricks to help business analysts, product owners, test designers, and subject matter experts discover, capture, clarify, and confirm 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, UML or Agile development environments. This instructor-led course can be delivered in a series of virtual sessions via the Internet or live at your site.


Target Audience

The material in this course will benefit anyone involved in creating or comprehending business-focused requirements for IT projects, including (but not limited to):

  • Business Analysts
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Agile Product Owners
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Line Managers
  • Systems Analysts
  • Software Testers
  • Product Test Engineers
  • 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
  • Use business problems to discover requirements
  • Prepare, perform and follow up effective communications focused on getting requirements
  • Contrast active and informational listening
  • Describe elicitation versus inquisition approaches for discovering requirements
  • Improve the quality and understandability of your User Stories and features
  • Define Solution (Functional and Non-Functional) Requirements
  • Translate business needs into features and requirements
  • Write User Stories expressing the what and avoiding the how
  • Assess whether IT requirements are in or out of scope for the project
  • Write User Stories that minimize the potential for misunderstanding
  • Differentiate between quantitative and qualitative non-functional measures
  • Recognize business rules and external constraints in Solution Requirements
  • Verify the “testability” of Solution 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
  • Compare Behavior-Driven Design (BDD) and Acceptance-Test Driven Development (ATDD)
  • Defend the need for automated acceptance testing
  • Plan to incorporate selected techniques to improve your performance on the job

Course Outline

1 Requirements in a Lean and Agile World

  • Agile and Lean Philosophies
  • Requirements Constructs in a Lean Environment
  • Cynefin: A Framework for Quantifying Uncertainty
  • Analysis in Agile Environments

2 Discovering Requirements for Agile and Traditional IT Projects

  • Common Elicitation Techniques and Challenges
  • Tips and Tricks for Effective Conversations
  • Identifying and Interacting with Stakeholders
  • Discovering Requirements thru Problem Analysis
  • Recognizing Analysis Progress with a Question file

3 Writing Business and Stakeholder Features and Requirements

  • User Stories Are Stakeholder Requirements
  • Reducing Complexity Increases Comprehension
  • A Complete Sentence Forces a Complete Thought
  • Acknowledging Decision Making Authority
  • Relevance of Features, Requirements, and User Stories

4 Avoiding Ambiguity and Subjectivity

  • Misunderstandings Kill Projects
  • Sources of Ambiguity
  • Clarifying thru Context and Content
  • Ensuring a Common Understanding
  • Revealing and Removing Ambiguity
  • The Never-ending Story

5 Analyzing Business and Stakeholder Stories and Requirements

  • Testing in a LEAN, AGILE World
  • Getting to Test Scenarios
  • Functional Decomposition
  • From Test Scenarios to Test Cases
  • Engineering AGILE Test Data
  • Discovering and Measuring Non-Functional Requirements (NFR)

6 From Showtime to Go Time!

  • Accepting the Learning Curve
  • Personal Improvement Plan

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