ILT: Eliciting Requirements for IT Projects – Simply Put!

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

Course Duration: 3 Days (21 PDU/CDU)

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Some of this content is also available in our eCourses, eBooks, and KnowledgeKnuggets™

Course Overview

Eliciting Requirements — Art or Science?

It is day one of your project. How can you as "the one wearing the business analysis hat" determine what the application should do when it goes into production? There are many stakeholders involved, each with different expectations and needs. How can you deal with these challenges, 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 distinguish 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 for identifying project stakeholders and roles
  • Identify, document, and analyze business problems to discover requirements
  • Perform basic root cause analysis on problems to improve the quality of requirements
  • 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 workshops on a project
  • Plan to incorporate selected techniques to improve your performance on the job

Course Outline

1 Requirements Elicitation Defined

Surviving in Uncertainty

  • The Uncertainty Principle
  • Exercise: Ambiguity Exposed
  • Levels of Business Analysis
  • Current Software Development Approaches

2 Requirement Levels

Requirement Types a la BABOK®

  • Requirement Hierarchy
  • Business Requirements Define Business Objectives
  • Stakeholder Requirements Capture the People’s Needs
  • Solution Requirements Provide Necessary Details
  • Transition Requirements Pave the Project Path
  • Common Transition Requirement Targets
  • Exercise: Categorizing Requirements

What Are User Stories?

  • Agile Business Analysis Concepts
  • Business Analysis in an Agile Environment
  • User Story Basics
  • Common User Story Structures
  • Qualities of a Good User Story

3 Early Project Activities

Stakeholder Identification

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

Basic Business Problem Analysis

  • Defining the Real Problem
  • Aristotelian Problem/Symptom Reduction
  • Developing a Problem Statement
  • Gathering Written Problem Statements
  • Exercise: Getting Requirements from Problem Statements

4 Discovering Requirements for Agile and Traditional IT Projects

Simple Interviewing Techniques

  • 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

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
  • The Promise of RGW
  • The Flip Side of an RGW

5 Capturing Requirements and User Stories

Review of Requirements Writing Rules

  • Keep it Simple, Silly
  • A Complete Sentence Forces a Complete Thought
  • Structured Requirement Statements
  • Think “What”, Not “How”
  • A Requirement …
  • Exercise: Creating Complete Sentence Requirements

Focusing on Relevant Requirements

  • Common Components of IT solutions
  • Requirements in Scope
  • The Project Scope Statement
  • Exercise: Requirement Statement Relevance

Misinterpretation Ruins Requirements

  • The Challenge to Understanding
  • Increasing Clarity of your Requirements
  • Ambiguity Ruins Requirements
  • Exercise: Reducing Ambiguity in Requirements

The Functional Perspective

  • The Data Dimension
  • The Problem Dimension of Requirements
  • Types of Non-Functional Requirements
  • Business Rules and Constraints Defined
  • Detailed Clarification

6 From Showtime to Go Time!

Personal Improvement Plan

  • Understanding the Learning Curve
  • Developing Your Personal Implementation Plan

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