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Eliciting and Writing Usable Requirements

Course Code



2 Days

Requirements might be ambiguous, but the product we produce from them will be very specific! And it might be specifically what we did not want! Specific and clear requirements are the key to the "correct" end result of any project. This workshop focuses on the IIBA-defined knowledge areas of Requirements Elicitation, Requirements Analysis, and Requirements Management and Communication. In this workshop, participants elicit requirements from stakeholders by asking the "good" questions, extract requirements from interview responses, remove ambiguity from the elicited requirements, and classify, trace, and manage requirements. This workshop supplements the workshop Practical Business Analysis. It is recommended that the Practical Business Analysis workshop or an equivalent be taken as a prerequisite for this workshop.
This course is designed for individuals eliciting requirements.
Introduction/Ground rules/Icebreaker

Business Analysis as a Discipline

What is Business Analysis?
Terminology Review
Exercise: Match Your Terms
The Business Analysis Knowledge Areas
Exercise: What Knowledge Area are You Operating In?
What is a Requirement?
Exercise: Is this a requirement?

Creating "Good" Requirements
The Requirements Refinement Curve
Recognizing Ambiguity
Reasons for Ambiguity and Unidentified Requirements
The Costs of Requirements Defects
Characteristics of a "Good" Requirement
Exercise: Clearing up ambiguity

Types of Requirements
Requirements Classification Schemes
Business, Stakeholder, and Solution Requirements
Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
I Thought I Heard a Requirement! Tuning Your Ear
Exercise: What type of requirement is this?

Elicitation Tools Review and Refresher
Document Analysis
Interviews and Requirements Workshops
Exercise: Which tool would be best for this situation?

Eliciting Stated Requirements
Using a Working Document Format
Performing Document Analysis
Developing Questions that Lead to Good Requirements
Identifying the "Right" Stakeholders
Before the Interview or Workshop
Exercise: Create an agenda and an interview approach

Conducting the Elicitation Interview
Building Rapport
Capturing Fast and Furious Requirements
Keeping Control while WAITing
Preventing Promises You Cannot Keep
Mastering Sticky Situations
Exercise: Conduct the elicitation interview

Day 1 Wrap Up
Capture Golden Nuggets
Formulate Your Flight Plan

Bridging Exercise from Day 1

Mastering the "Messy"

Complexities of Requirements Workshops
Eliciting Requirements Virtually
Listening to the Right Voices

Verifying Stated Requirements
Extracting Requirements from the Interview
Exercise: Extract requirements from interview notes
Identifying Patterns and Discrepancies
Challenging Underlying Assumptions
Exercise: Identify patterns and discrepancies; plan for resolution

Structuring Requirements (continued)
Classifying Elicited Requirements
Exercise: Classify the requirements elicited in the interview
Simplifying Complex Requirements into Discrete and Testable Units
Exercise: Breakdown Complex Requirements
Using Consistent Requirements Verbiage
Exercise: Rewrite requirements using standard verbiage
Determining the Necessary Level of Requirements Detail
Documenting and Packaging the Requirements
Exercise: Analyze Documentation Formats for Pros and Cons

Confirming and Approving Requirements
Who Confirms?
Who Approves?
Building Ownership and Efficiency into the Process
Using a Decision Escalation Log
Exercise: Create a RACI Chart and a Decision Escalation Log

When Stakeholders Won't Agree
Remembering Scope
Negotiating Requirements Alignment
Negotiations and Decision-making
Business Analyst as the Voice of Reason
Exercise: Negotiate Alignment

Managing Your Requirements
Tracing Your Requirements
Exercise: Trace elicited requirements using a trace matrix
Change Happens
Working with Your Project Manager in the Change Control Process
Preparing to Communicate Change Appropriately
Exercise: Document a Change Control Request, Trace the Impact, and Communicate to Stakeholders

Day 2/Workshop Wrap Up
Capture Golden Nuggets
Formulate Your Flight Plan
Complete Evaluations
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