Eliciting and Writing Effective Requirements

You will revisit the foundational concepts of business analysis and discuss the importance of requirements to project success. A deep exploration of requirements and requirements categories is provided. You will learn how to perform a deep exploration of your stakeholders as a starting point to the requirements process. You will be presented with guidance and helpful instruction for planning and preparing for elicitation and documentation. A number of popular and common elicitation techniques are explored. The best practices for writing and documenting requirements are shared. A thorough presentation of requirements and solution validation is provided.

Course Outline

Module 1: Review of Foundational Concepts

  • Definition of a business analysis

  • Definition of business analyst

  • BA role vs. PM role

  • Business analysis competencies

  • Benefits of business analysis

  • Purpose for having a BA standard

  • IIBA’s BABOK® Guide and PMI’s Practice Guide in Business Analysis

  • Business analysis core concepts

  • Discussion: Project challenges


Module 2: Understanding Requirements

  • Common problems with requirements

  • Understand the problem first

  • Define the business need

  • Situation statements and moving to requirements

  • Understanding requirement types

  • Business requirements

  • Stakeholder/User Requirements

  • Solution Requirements

  • Functional Requirements

  • Non-Functional Requirements

  • Assumptions and Constraints

  • Discussions:

  • Requirement Problems

  • Business Needs

  • Workshop: Identifying Non-Functional Requirements


Section 3: Discovering Stakeholders

  • Definition of a stakeholder

  • Stakeholder types

  • Identifying stakeholders

  • Performing stakeholder analysis

  • Stakeholders and requirements

  • Tips for identifying stakeholders

  • Grouping stakeholders

  • Creating a RACI model

  • Tips for analyzing stakeholders

  • Documenting results of stakeholder analysis

  • Workshop: Discovering stakeholders


Module 4: Preparing for Requirements Elicitation

  • Planning for elicitation

  • Benefits of elicitation planning

  • What do you plan?

  • The elicitation plan

  • Setting objectives for elicitation

  • Determining the scope for elicitation

  • Establishing pre-work

  • Determining the outputs for the session

  • The iterative nature of elicitation

  • Elicitation roles

  • Elicitation planning techniques

  • Discussions:

  • Who to involve in elicitation

  • Planning Impacts

  • Unplanned elicitation

  • Workshop: Planning for elicitation


Module 5: Conduct Requirements Elicitation

  • Elicitation skillset

  • Types of elicitation techniques

  • Using active listening in elicitation

  • Techniques for performing elicitation

  • Benchmarking/Market Analysis

  • Brainstorming

  • Business Rules Analysis

  • Collaborative Games

  • Concept Modeling

  • Data Mining

  • Data Modeling

  • Document Analysis

  • Focus Groups

  • Interface Analysis

  • Interviews

  • Observation

  • Process Modeling

  • Prototyping

  • Survey or Questionnaire

  • Workshops


Module 6: Write Effective Requirements

  • Elicitation and Analysis

  • Requirements related issues

  • Implications of bad requirements

  • Elicitation and documentation

  • Writing skillset

  • Documenting requirements

  • Modeling requirements

  • Defining the project life cycle

  • Impact of project life cycle on documentation

  • Requirements specifications

  • Characteristics of good requirements

  • Guidelines for writing textual requirements

  • Structuring a requirement

  • Writing pitfalls

  • Traceability

  • Requirements attributes

  • Risks associated to requirements

  • Discussions:

  • Project Life Cycle

  • Correcting Poorly Written Requirements

  • Workshops:

  • Documenting Requirements

  • Identify Characteristics of Good Requirements


Section 7: Confirm and Communicate Elicitation Requirements

  • Business analysis communication

  • Requirements communication

  • Communication skills

  • The 7 Cs

  • Timing of communication

  • Planning communication

  • Importance of Collaboration

  • Planning collaboration

  • Documenting communication/collaboration needs

  • Confirming elicitation results

  • Verify requirements

  • Characteristics of good requirements (revisited)

  • Requirements checklist

  • Requirements validation

  • Signing off on requirements

  • Discussions:

  • Responsibility for Communication

  • Eliciting Communication Needs

  • Validation

  • Signoff

  • Workshops:

  • Communicating Requirements

  • Obtaining Signoff


Section 8: Evaluate the Solution

  • Business analyst role in solution evaluation

  • Why solutions under perform

  • What we are looking for in solution evaluation

  • When does solution evaluation occur

  • Performing solution evaluation

  • Planning solution evaluation

  • Metrics that might exist

  • Evaluating long term performance

  • Qualitative vs. quantitative measures

  • Tools & techniques used in solution evaluation

  • Comparing expected to actuals

  • When solution evaluation discovers a variance

  • Tools/techniques for analyzing variances

  • Proposing a recommendation

  • Communicating results of solution evaluation

  • Discussion: Addressing Variance


Section 9: Wrap up and Next Steps

  • Useful books and links on writing effective requirements

  • BABOK® GuideBusiness Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide

Audience

This course is intended for beginner to intermediate business and requirements analysts who are looking to improve their elicitation and requirements writing and documentation skills. This course is also a great fit for technical writers, product and software testers, project managers, product owners who work closely with business analysts or who perform some for of business analysis themselves.