Requirements Elicitation Techniques - Simply Put!
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Requirements Elicitation Techniques - Simply Put!

Helping Stakeholders Discover and Define Requirements for IT Projects
4.4 (8 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
390 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $35 Discount: 71% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
  • There are no prerequisites for this course. You will get the most benefit, however, if you also take our related course "Requirements Interviews and Workshops Simply Put!"

7 Ways to Improve Your Requirements Elicitation Skills

Getting the right requirements for an IT project is arguably the most challenging step in software development. 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. 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 presents 7 requirements definition techniques 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.

The course 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.

We design our courses with a mix of “talking-head” instructor videos augmented with “Intellimated” visual aids proven to improve comprehension and increase retention. 

Who is the target audience?
  • 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
  • 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.
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Curriculum For This Course
24 Lectures
Introduction to Requirements Elicitation Techniques
1 Lecture 06:15

The instructor presents the problems associated with eliciting requirements and the learning objectives of the course.

For more some online resources, explore the links below: 

Preview 06:15
Managing Requirements Elicitation with a Question File
4 Lectures 13:09

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.

Preview 03:19

Recognize that there are always things you know about the project and things you don't know and use that knowledge effectively..

Discovering What You Do Not Know

Creating and maintaining an ongoing list of your open questions files is probably the most effective tool for reducing uncertainty.

Minimal Layout of the Question File

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.

For more tips and tricks, explore the links below: 

Using a Question File to Combat Analysis Paralysis
Identifying Stakeholders for Requirements Discovery
3 Lectures 10:59

Having the right project stakeholders will make or break your project. Start identifying stakeholders from the beginning of the project.

Preview 03:56

The organization chart (org chart) is a visual picture of roles and responsibilities which makes it a great tool for early project stakeholder identification.

Identifying Stakeholders on an Org Chart

Creating and maintaining a simple list of all project stakeholders throughout your project minimizes the danger of missing crucial decision makers.

For more stakeholder analysis tips and tricks, explore the links below: 

Creating and Maintaining a Stakeholder List
Problem Analysis Initiates Requirements Gathering
4 Lectures 18:11

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.

Preview 04:14

The structure of your problem list should facilitate problem analysis.

A Well-Structured Problem List

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.

A Simple Problem Analysis Technique

Once you know the "REAL PROBLEMS", defining the requirements for a suitable solution that eliminates all of the symtpoms becomes much easier.

Will the Real Problem Please Stand Out
Requirements Brainstorming
4 Lectures 15:04

Brainstorming will result in a much more complete list of requirements early in the project.

To Brainstorm or Not to Brainstorm

Setting the stage for effective brainstorming sessions is a critical first step. It is difficult to recover from a bad start.

Preparing the Session and the Participants

You have to keep your group motivated and moving during the brainstorming session to deliver the requisite quality results.

Maintaining Momentum from Start to Finish

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.

For more tips and tricks on brainstorming, explore the links below:

Post-Session Steps and Lessons Learned
Ten Quick Questions Guide Requirements Discovery
5 Lectures 22:30

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.

Preview 02:47

Asking your Subject Matter Experts what the solution should do is just the tip of the iceberg, but it is an essential first step.

Discovering Functional Requirements

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.

Getting Non-Functional Requirements

One type of non-functional requirements are constraining requirements. They can be external or internal but ALL constraints impose absolute limits on the solution.

Capturing Constraints

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 re-usability.

For more tips and tricks on non-functional requirements, explore the links below: 

Using the Quick Ten
Requirements Elicitation Techniques Wrap-up
3 Lectures 06:50

A brief overview of the techniques presented in the class with explanations of the rationale for each technique.

For more requirements elicitation tips, tricks, and techniques, explore the links below: 

Recap and Rationale of Covered Topics

We provide a "Personal Improvement Plan" for you that will help you integrate the techniques we presented in the course into your daily life.

What Do You Do Next?

BONUS LECTURE: This Course Is Just the Beginning
About the Instructor
Tom and Angela Hathaway
4.4 Average rating
183 Reviews
2,303 Students
7 Courses
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