Getting the right requirements for an IT project is arguably the most challenging step in software development. Every analysis of IT projects over the past seventy-plus years identifies missing and misunderstood requirements as the major cause of project overruns and failures. The importance of requirements elicitation cannot be overstated. The requirements you elicit and gather are the foundation for the remainder of ALL of the work on your project.
This course offers a valuable set of proven methods for getting IT requirements from project stakeholders. My co-author, Angela, and I have used these techniques on hundreds of IT projects around the globe and we know the value each provides. Every presented technique will greatly improve your ability to elicit effective requirements which is the ultimate challenge for every project.
So what are you going to learn? This course presents the nuts and bolts of “requirements elicitation” which will help you:
• Identify potential stakeholders early in the project
• Manage the requirements elicitation process with a Question File
• Recognize, track, and report progress toward requirements completion
• Define, document, and analyze business problems to ferret out hidden requirements
• Facilitate effective requirements brainstorming sessions to uncover additional requirements
• Use 10 critical questions to initiate the requirements elicitation process
• Capture and communicate assumptions about your requirements
• Avoid “analysis paralysis” by recognizing when it is time to stop eliciting and start deciding
We design our courses with a mix of “talking-head” instructor videos augmented with “Intellimated” visual aids proven to improve comprehension and increase retention.
The presented techniques 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.
The one thing you have in abundance at the beginning of any project is uncertainty. Learn how to embrace that uncertainty and leverage it to start your project off on the right foot.
Recognize that there are always things you know about the project and things you don't know and use that knowledge effectively..
Creating and maintaining an ongoing list of your open questions files is probably the most effective tool for reducing uncertainty.
In dealing with uncertainty, recognizing when it is time to stop asking and start deciding is a critical skill for the one wearing the Business Analysis hat. This is where you reap the benefits of keeping your question file current.
Having the right project stakeholders will make or break your project. Start identifying stakeholders from the beginning of the project.
The organization chart (org chart) is a visual picture of roles and responsibilities which makes it a great tool for early project stakeholder identification.
Creating and maintaining a simple list of all project stakeholders throughout your project minimizes the danger of missing crucial decision makers.
If you do not know what business problem your project is solving, you will never know when you are done. By initiating the project with a problem list you are setting the stage for success.
The structure of your problem list should facilitate problem analysis.
Once you have a list of all "problems" the stakeholders expect your project to solve, you can start doing some serious analysis that will ultimately lead you to the "REAL PROBLEMS".
Once you know the "REAL PROBLEMS", defining the requirements for a suitable solution that eliminates all of the symtpoms becomes much easier.
Brainstorming will result in a much more complete list of requirements early in the project.
Setting the stage for effective brainstorming sessions is a critical first step. It is difficult to recover from a bad start.
You have to keep your group motivated and moving during the brainstorming session to deliver the requisite quality results.
Transitioning from active brainstorming to clarification and expansion of the ideas is just as critical as all of the other steps for a productive brainstorming outcome.
Business analysis is primarily about figuring out what questions to ask of whom to define the right solution. This lecture explains the recursive nature of our quick 10 questions.
Asking your Subject Matter Experts what the solution should do is just the tip of the iceberg, but it is an essential first step.
Getting to non-functional requirements requires a lot more questions than getting to the functional dimension. We introduce several common categories of questions that address that conundrum.
Constraining requirements are a category unto themselves. The impose absolute, inviolate limits that any delivered solution has to meet.
We provide an example of responses to the quick 10 questions applied at a functional level as opposed to a project level to illustrate their reusability.
A brief overview of the techniques presented in the class with explanations of the rationale for each technique.
We provide a "Personal Improvement Plan" for you that will help you integrate the techniques we presented in the course into your daily life.
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