ILT: Eliciting Requirements for IT Projects – Simply Put!

Business Analysis Techniques for Gathering Business and Stakeholder Requirements from Subject Matter Experts

Course Duration: 2 Days (14 PDU/CDU)

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Course Overview

Eliciting Requirements — Art or Science?

It is very early in your project. How can you as "the one wearing the business analysis hat” determine what the system should do when it goes into production? There are many people involved, each with different expectations and needs. How can you deal with these difficulties, gather reasonable requirements quickly, and not waste the effort?

This business analysis techniques course gives you a proven set of core techniques, methods, and tricks to elicit (gather or capture) business, stakeholder, solution, and transition requirements. Getting requirements requires much more than simply asking stakeholders what they want or need. Our techniques go beyond capturing obvious requirements. They force stakeholders to consider different dimensions of the solution so they recognize and express requirements they did not even know they had. That is the true are of “elicitation”.

NOTE: The techniques taught in this course are methodology-neutral, meaning they are relevant to traditional or Agile development environments. We will deliver this instructor-led course live at your site or in a series of virtual sessions via the Internet.

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:

  • Define and defend business, stakeholder, solution and transition requirement levels
  • Defend the need for distinguishing actors, roles, stakeholders, and users to improve the completeness of requirements
  • Use three different approaches identifying project stakeholders and roles
  • Develop RACI matrices, Onion Diagrams, and Communication Plans to identify, analyze, and improve stakeholder involvement
  • Identify, document, and analyze business problems to discover requirements
  • Analyze reported business problems to identify common attributes
  • Prepare, perform and follow up effective requirements gathering interviews focused on requirements elicitation
  • Weigh the merits of different interviewing approaches
  • Defend the need for requirements discovery site visits as a requirements elicitation technique
  • Define effective informational listening techniques and hurdles
  • Contrast active and informational listening
  • Describe interviewing versus inquisition approaches for eliciting requirements from stakeholders
  • Assess the viability of using requirement gathering sessions on a project
  • Plan to incorporate selected techniques to improve your performance on the job

Course Outline

1 The Need for Requirements


  • The Uncertainty Principle
  • Exercise: Ambiguity Exposed

Requirement Types

  • Requirement Types a la BABOK®
  • Requirement Relationships
  • Definition of a Business Requirement
  • Structure of Business Requirements
  • Business Requirement Examples
  • Discussion: Business Perspectives
  • Definition of a Stakeholder Requirement
  • Purpose and Audience of Stakeholder Requirements
  • Stakeholder Requirement Structures
  • Stakeholder Requirement Examples
  • Discussion: Stakeholder Perspectives
  • Solution Requirements Defined
  • Solution Requirement Structures
  • Solution Requirement Examples
  • Transition Requirement Defined
  • Transition Requirement Structures
  • Transition Requirement Examples
  • Typical Transition Requirement Targets
  • Exercise: Transition Requirements

2 Who Has the Requirements You Need?

Stakeholder Identification

  • Identify Stakeholders
  • Using an Org Chart
  • A Stakeholder Is….
  • Exercise: Stakeholder Identification


  • Defining the Real Problem
  • Exercise: The Tunnel from the Twilight Zone
  • Exercise: Problem Identification
  • Aristotelian Problem/Symptom Reduction
  • Documenting the Problem Statement
  • Getting Written Problem Statements
  • Exercise: Writing Problem Statements
  • Exercise : Problem Statements
  • Getting From Problems to Requirements
  • Exercise: Getting Requirements from Problems
  • The Why Tree
  • Root Cause Analysis using a Fishbone Diagram
  • Ishikawa Diagrams a.k.a. Fishbone diagrams

3 Discovering Requirements for Agile and Traditional IT Projects


  • Exercise: Characteristics of a “Good” Interviewer
  • Interviewing Steps
  • Plan for the Interview
  • Exercise: Ten Questions and the Case study
  • Maintaining Control in an Interview
  • Perform the Interview
  • Listening Techniques
  • Hurdles to Informational Listening
  • Après Interview Tasks
  • Exercise: Advanced Interviewing Techniques
  • Exercise: Interviewing Worksheet
  • Exercise: Capturing Interview Results
  • Mind Mapping
  • Mind Map Example
  • Email Interviewing Tips
  • Exercise: Face-to-Face vs. Email Interview
  • The Delphi Technique Defined
  • Using The Delphi Technique
  • Exercise: Analysis by Walking Around (site visits)
  • Walking Around Notational Technique
  • Exercise: 3-Minute Interview Evaluation

Requirements Gathering Workshops

  • What is an Requirements Gathering Workshop (RGW)?
  • Stages of an RGW
  • Mini-RGW
  • The Promise of RGW
  • The Flip Side of an RGW

4 From Showtime to Go Time!

Personal Improvement Plan

  • Understanding the Learning Curve
  • Exercise: My Techniques
  • My Personal Implementation Plan


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