Requirements Analysis Destroys Ambiguity

Combat Missing and Misunderstood Requirements
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 34 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 9/2014 English

Course Description

Misunderstood requirements on Information Technology (IT) projects are legend – and can cost you an arm and a leg. A recent study to quantify the cost of misunderstood requirements indicates they can nearly double the cost of the project! One of the major causes of misunderstanding is the inherent ambiguity and subjectivity of our language. Every unit within an organization has a unique vocabulary. Its members communicate within the unit effectively because each shares a common understanding of the terms and phrases within that context. Taken out of context (e.g. in Requirement Statements that IT needs to understand), those terms are subject to misinterpretation. </p>

“Using Requirements Analysis to Destroy Ambiguity” presents a set of rules and techniques for recognizing and removing the ambiguity and subjectivity of language early in the process. Detection and clarification of ambiguous terms and phrases before development reduces coding errors, minimizes testing time, and increases the odds that the product will be delivered on schedule and within budget. You can use the presented techniques on any set of requirements to improve the probability that the Solution Providers will deliver what the business needs with minimal misunderstandings.

This course is the second of three in our series “How to Write Effective Requirements for IT Solutions” that will dramatically reduce the failure rate of projects suffering from poor requirements. Regardless of your job title or role, if you are tasked with communicating your future needs to others, this course will help. It is interactive (includes exercises with instant feedback), instructionally designed (based on modern learning theory), and "intellimated™" (uses animated visuals with an accompanying audio track) to hold your interest and increase retention.

What are the requirements?

  • No technical background required
  • Desire to define user requirements for IT
  • Interest in the field of business analysis
  • HTML5 compatible browser for exercises (quizzes)
  • No additional materials are required

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Defend the need for expressing requirements that all affected target audiences understand
  • Isolate and address ambiguous words and phrases in requirements
  • Use our Peer Perception technique to find words and phrases that can lead to misunderstandings
  • Improve the understandability of your requirements with revision, definition, and clarification techniques
  • Clarify ambiguous terms with corporate and industry standard definitions
  • Make effective use of clearly defined acronyms
  • Reduce ambiguity by adding context where necessary
  • Utilize standard readability indices to improve the probability that all intended audiences share a common understanding of the content

What is the target audience?

  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Product Owners
  • Business Process Managers
  • Product and Project Managers
  • Line Managers
  • Business System Analysts
  • Anyone wearing the BA hat!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Setting the Stage
02:34
  • Course Introduction
  • Learning Objectives
04:15
  • Avoid Ambiguity in Your Requirements
  • Ambiguity Kills Projects
  • Who Needs to Understand Your Requirements?
00:58

The video below (What Are Business, Stakeholder, and Solution Requirements?) will give you a brief introduction to the different types of requirements according to the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).

Section 2: Finding and Fixing Ambiguous Requirements
01:18
  • Rampant Ambiguity
  • Desk-Checking Uncovers Ambiguity
Article

This little exercise will help you identify ambiguous terms.

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

05:12
  • Requirements Define the Future
  • Restating Requirements to Find Ambiguity
  • Picking the Right Peers
Article

A two part exercise for you to identify good requirement rewrites and then write your own rewrites.

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

05:38
  • Revise Ambiguous Elements
  • Revising, Defining, and Clarifying Your Requirements
Article

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

Section 3: Best Practices to Reduce Ambiguity
02:20
  • Acronyms, Yes, BUT …
  • Make Use of Corporate and Industry Standards
  • The Power of a Glossary
Article

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

02:47
  • The Major Cause of Ambiguity
  • Adding Context and Other Missing Information
Article

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

02:57

An understandable business requirement is written to the readability level of the target audience by staying within standard readability indices. In this lecture we will explain what readability indices are and how to use them in your requirement writings.

Are you working in an Agile environment? Watch the videos below for a brief excursion into the Agile world of requirements.

Article

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

Section 4: In Closing
00:59

Summary of the course.

Article

This exercise is designed for Internet Explorer (IE). It may not work with other browsers.

00:35

If you are interested in an instructor-led version of this course please check out the link below "Requirements Training: Business and Stakeholder Requirement Analysis"

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Instructor Biography

Tom and Angela Hathaway, BA-EXPERTS: Business Analysis for Anyone Wearing the BA Hat

Tom has been in business analysis since long before it was called business analysis. He has over 30 years experience in the fields of information technology, methodologies, and business analysis. In his writings and lectures he strives for enlightening while entertaining. As a facilitator, he achieves results through inclusion and synergistic group-building. He has taught thousands of students business and systems analysis skills since the '80's and has facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc).

Angela and Tom Hathaway (previously Hathaway & Associates, Inc. and Requirements Solutions Group, LLC) founded BA-EXPERTS in 2011. As a team, Angela and Tom have trained, consulted, mentored and coached thousands of business analysts around the world for organizations from small businesses to Fortune 100. Hundreds of current and past customers include TIAA-CREF (Financial), Cathay Pacific (Airline), Manitoba Telecom Services (Telecommunications), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Hospitality), government agencies, and a myriad of organizations spanning all sizes and industries. Our training, consulting, and mentoring efforts have saved our customers around the world millions and can help your organization improve its business analysis practices

Instructor Biography

Daniel Myers, Senior Instructor at BA-EXPERTS

Dan has been in Business Analysis since 1978. He has over 35 years of experience in the fields of information technology, methodologies, requirements engineering, and business analysis. He authored three business analysis methodologies, and ten workshops (2-5 days) focused on the business analysis discipline. With these tools he trained and consulted with over five-hundred medium-sized to Fortune 100 companies on five continents. He also developed an “ASAP” methodology that would later be known as JAD, (IBM’s name).

Some of his customers were LL Bean, Smuckers, and other retailers, Lilly, Merck and other pharmaceuticals, Air Canada, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and other airlines, BlueCross, Cigna, Vanguard and other insurers, 6 of 7 of the largest companies in the state of Maine, Anchorage Municipal (government, police, fire, public schools, etc.), US Army, and numerous other government agencies and companies.

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