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Gathering, Writing, Communicating, and Testing IT Requirements

Tailor your user/business requirements definition to each specific business environment. Being able to clearly express your IT Requirements will enable you to define the right future for your organization. Whether you are a business analyst or are just “wearing the BA hat”, strong business analysis skills give you the ability to help your organization make the right decisions. Fortunately, expressing business needs in the form of understandable IT requirements is an ability you can acquire.

Every organization is unique, every project is unique, and every individual is unique. To be effective, you should tailor your requirements to each specific business environment Being able to express your IT Requirements is about leveraging that uniqueness to define the right future for your organization. Whether you are a business analyst or are just “wearing the BA hat”, strong business analysis skills give you the ability to help your organization make the right decisions.

Transcript:

In theory, getting what you want is a simple, three-step process:

  1. Figure out what you want (discover your requirements)
  2. Figure out whom to ask and how to ask them so they understand you correctly (express your requirements or user stories or use cases)
  3. Figure out how to be sure that what you get is what you really want(ed) (design your tests).

Once you are there, all you have to do is “ask and ye shall receive”, right? So what is the problem?

Whether you are asked for IT requirements or are asking for them, requirements can be difficult to discover, express, communicate, and validate. That does not mean “requirements” should be a dirty word in your vocabulary. They are a mode of communication and human communication is an extremely challenging undertaking. George Bernard Shaw noted, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” and to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Communication is the power to express what you want in a language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak”.

Requirements are the language of business analysis. There are many competing theories and philosophies on how to best express IT requirements, e.g. as User Stories, Use Cases, Process diagrams, or broken out into business, stakeholder, solution and transition requirements. Some organizations mandate which format you should use while others leave it up to your preferences regardless of your skill level in expressing IT requirements.

At BA-EXPERTS, we believe that every organization is unique, every project is unique, and every individual is unique. To be effective, you should tailor your IT requirements to each specific business environment. The purpose of requirements is effective communication; if they fail at that, your project is doomed and the resources wasted. Fortunately, expressing business needs in the form of understandable IT requirements is an ability you can acquire.

Although we offer a complete business analysis curriculum, we also realize that learning is a process, not an event.

Attending a training class is fun and educational, but developing superior business analysis skills and practices means going beyond the training classroom. Whether you take our training or not, our experienced coaches and consultants can improve your requirements discovery, writing, and communication skills while you work. You can access them online or onsite. Because seeing is believing, they also perform virtual and face-to-face Requirements Gathering Workshops to showcase our business analysis techniques in action on time-critical projects. This gives you the additional benefit of getting your requirements within a week or two.

Real work is where true skills transfer takes place. Working together with us, you will get the right user requirements quicker than ever and improve your business analysis skills in the process. Whether you are a business analyst or are just “wearing the BA hat”, business analysis is a critical skill that will help you get what you asked for.