Book: Requirements Elicitation Techniques – Simply Put!

Helping Stakeholders Discover and Define Requirements for IT Projects

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Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Pages: 100 (estimated)
Publication Date: July 29, 2016

Also available as an eCourse and covered in this ILT course

SKU: EB-C07-C14 Category: Tag:


7 Ways to Improve Your Requirements Elicitation Skills

Getting the right requirements from the right people at the right time for your project is a critical success factor for any IT project. Nearly every study over the past 40 years has pinpointed missing and misunderstood IT requirements as the primary cause of IT project failures and overruns. “Requirements Elicitation Techniques – Simply Put!” presents 7 requirements definition techniques that evolved from our work with customers to meet that specific challenge.

This book is a continuation of our Requirements Elicitation series. The previously published book “Requirements Elicitation Interviews and Workshops – Simply Put” deals with soft skills (i.e. how to run a requirements workshop) needed to elicit requirements.

The book defines the concept of requirements elicitation and explains why it is necessary. It presents specific business analysis techniques for identifying stakeholders, analyzing relevant business problems, helping stakeholders discover what they need and want the solution to deliver, and a set of key questions you need answered to initiate and manage the elicitation process. Applying these techniques will significantly improve your requirements elicitation outcomes.

“Requirements Elicitation Techniques – Simply Put!” will help practicing business analysts, future business analysts, subject matter experts, managers, product owners, project managers, and anyone responsible for getting the right requirements from the right people.

You will learn how to:

  • Identify potential stakeholders
  • Manage the requirements elicitation process
  • Track progress toward requirements completion
  • Define and analyze business problems to ferret out hidden requirements
  • Facilitate effective requirements brainstorming sessions
  • Use 10 critical questions to initiate the requirements elicitation process
  • Avoid “analysis paralysis”

Learn More Business Analysis Skills by:

  • Looking at our extensive course library for onsite or online instructor-led business analysis training.
  • Taking one or more of our virtual training courses (these primarily focus on the business analyst career development, but learning new skills has seldom hurt anyone).
  • Checking out relevant FREE KnowledgeKnuggets™ and explainer videos.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this book. We appreciate any comments, suggestions, recommended improvements, or complaints that you care to share with us. You can reach us via email at


This book will help anyone tasked with capturing or gathering requirements for Information Technology projects, in particular:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Agile Product Owners
  • Business Process Managers
  • Business Process Users
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Business Architects
  • Systems Analysts
  • Software Testers
  • Business Architects
  • User liaison personnel
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining what a project should deliver will benefit from this class. Although it is directed toward Information Technology projects, all of the techniques will benefit you on any project, professional or personal.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction to Requirements Elicitation Techniques
  • Managing Requirements Elicitation with a Question File
    • A Question File Quantifies Uncertainty
    • Discovering What You Do Not Know
    • Minimal Layout of the Question File
    • Using a Question File  to Combat Analysis Paralysis
  • Identifying Stakeholders for Requirements Discovery
    • Missing Stakeholders Means Missing Requirements
    • Identifying Stakeholders on an Org Chart
    • Creating and Maintaining a Stakeholder List
  • Problem Analysis Initiates Requirements Gathering
    • Collect Problems from ALL Stakeholders
    • A Well-Structured Problem List
    • A Simple Problem Analysis Technique
    • Will the Real Problem Please Stand Out
  • Requirements Brainstorming
    • To Brainstorm or Not to Brainstorm
    • Preparing the Session and the Participants
    • Maintaining Momentum from Start to Finish
    • Post-Session Steps and Lessons Learned
  • Ten Quick Questions Guide Requirements Discovery
    • Introduction to the Quick Ten
    • Discovering Functional Requirements
    • Getting Non-Functional Requirements
    • Capturing Constraints
    • Using the Quick Ten
  • Requirements Elicitation Techniques Wrap-up
    • What Do You Do Next?

Additional information

About the Authors

Angela and Tom Hathaway have authored and delivered hundreds of training courses and publications for business analysts around the world. They have facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions for information technology projects under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc.).
Based on their personal journey and experiences reported by their students, they recognized how much anyone can benefit from a basic understanding of what is currently called “business analysis”. Their mission is to allow everyone, anywhere access to simple, easy-to-learn techniques by sharing their experience and expertise in their training seminars, blogs, books, and public presentations.


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