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Author: Sally Craik

Are you struggling to elicit requirements from your Stakeholders?

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.


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.


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.


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

Engage > Question > Confirm

6 Tips in preparing for your CCBA recertification

When it comes to recertifying, the past 3 years have absolutely flown. It’s time for me to re-certify my CCBA® and I thought that 3 years would give me plenty of time to earn enough CDU’s for recertification.

I still can’t believe that it was almost 3 years ago that I sat and passed my exam. I remember looking at the ‘Pass’ that popped onto the screen after taking some time for me to actually click the Submit button.

This is the first time to recertify for me and I have learned a few lessons that I would like to share with you.

The CCBA status must be renewed every three years from the anniversary date of earning your initial certification. All the recertifying requirements are listed on the website under Certification and Recognition > Re certification.

Refer to it often!

Here are my 6 most important tips

  1. Read the re certification guidelines carefully and early – Make sure you read the re certification guidelines and expectations early on and thoroughly. If you don’t understand the rules, then ask on forums or email IIBA directly. Soon after I passed my exam I looked at the re certification handbook, then I put it in the ‘too hard’ and ‘I’ll get to it later’ basket. Big mistake!
  2. Ask – Ask if you don’t understand the rules in the CCBA Handbook. The first time I read it, I was confused and found that I didn’t really understand it. On that note I put it to one side. Take my advice and if you need clarification of something then ask and the best place to ask is contacting the IIBA – the contact details are right there in the book! No surprises. I finally got around to doing this and received a response the next day. Easy as! I will add that it does appear that the website has been updated with better information regarding re certification.
  3. Keep track early – Start keeping track of your webinars, BA work hours, professional development hours and track them early. The IIBA site has a tracking spreadsheet similar to the one you have to fill in for the pre work prior to sitting the exam. Note down every piece of BA work that is aligned to the BAbok and performing business analysis, every webinar you attend or watch from the archived section, any course you attend. If you record it as you go then it will be less stressful at time of re certification. I have already set up a folder with the spreadsheet ready for my next 3 year cycle. Yes, I have very much learnt this lesson and sticking to it.
  4. Investigate other ways to earn CDU’s – There is a category of professional development where you can attend courses and earn CDU’s. I found this one difficult as it was hard to find new courses to attend at endorsed providers and also found it difficult getting time of work to attend them. After late discussions with other BA’s in my wider network it was suggested to me that I could actually do some online training via an endorsed provider. Too late for this recertification cycle but I will definitely be investigating it for the next time.
  5. Volunteer – I have only just discovered this one. Yes, read the recertification handbook several times, it’s all in there. It’s always good to give back to others what you learn and experience. Especially in our BA profession. I share my knowledge indirectly with my BA network, and with my work colleagues but I will now be doing it on a more formal basis. It’s always good to give back and it’s a good way to earn more CDU’s.
  6. Engage with your BA network often – Keep up to date with the BA profession regularly using BA forums and groups. These can be online or attending meet ups. It’s a great way to discuss re certifying and also to find out how other BA’s are going with their CDU’s. It’s a time for sharing thoughts and progress on how each of you are tracking plus it is a good reminder to get started!

I hope these tips will help you once you have passed your CCBA exam and on the way to re certifying. I wish I had have done each one of them starting the week after I passed my exam. At least I will be able to do it for the next 3 year cycle. Good luck to all of you studying for the exam!