Wednesday, 08 August 2018 07:43

Are you struggling to elicit requirements from your Stakeholders?

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Gathering requirements from business stakeholders on your project is often very demanding and sometimes uneventful.

There are a number of ways to drive the conversations to ensure the requirements are captured and turned into meaningful detailed requirements.

This article suggests some tips to nurture the most out of the project team during requirements gathering.

Ensure you have buy-in from the project team

The team has been selected by their managers to participate in the project. They are the ones with the subject matter expertise. These team members must have the right attitude for the project and understand what it means to workshop requirements. Projects team members must be 100 % committed to the project and understand the project outcome.

Ensure the team understand why requirements gathering is important

Inform the team how important this part of the project stage is. If the scoping process and fleshing out of the requirements is not carried out correctly and efficiently prior to the development stage, then later on the team will be left with a long list of clarifications and a long list of issues during the testing stage.

Prior to the workshops

It is always good practice to discuss the approach you will take for the requirements gathering sessions. This needs to take place before the workshops. It is a good idea to have a brief meeting on the approach that will be used. The meeting will also cover any questions that people may have including ensuring they understand what activities they will be performing.

If this approach meeting is held first, then the team can dive straight into requirements workshops. Remember, everyone’s time is precious.


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What kind of workshops?

Always have the problem statement close at hand. That way everyone can keep referring back to it during the workshops.

User stories form a good basis that can be developed and fleshed out during the workshops. Requirements that are captured using user stories tend to capture three key items: Who the user is; what the user needs; why the user wants it.

Use these stories and keep referring back to them while developing your requirements.

Processes

Business processes are key assets to the project. The current processes in both diagram and steps formats are one of the main essentials for capturing and developing requirements. They describe how things are done and provide insight on how things could be improved on and how they are done.

Mapping out future state processes may take several workshops however once a couple of processes are near complete the team will understand why these are so important.

Summary

The three key items to successfully elicit requirements from the Stakeholders:

Engage > Question > Confirm

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Sally Craik

Business Analysis Consultant

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