Posted by tac_admin, July 8, 2011

Eliciting Requirements

During requirements sessions, it’s your job as the BA to not only capture the requirements you’re being given, but to facilitate discussion about those requirements and taking the conversation to a deeper level.

Here are some things you can do to help with that process:

Appear Clueless

In order to foster expanded discussion, you should ask silly or frivolous questions. Put yourself in the position of being “clueless” about the process you’re discussing so that others will correct you and explain the options, the true nature of those options, and why they chose the direction they did.

This will help teams to re-examine their drivers for a decision and often help them look for simpler approaches. It sort of shocks their nervous systems into reconsideration. You need a thick skin and self-confidence to take this approach.

Make debatable statements

A variation on the silly question approach is to make debatable statements. Let me give you an example. In your business domain, sox compliancy is an important criteria.

So in a requirement planning session you state that you’ve seen little to no information around sox compliancy and testing — knowing that there is a reasonable level. You’re looking for the team to respond with the facts and you’re also looking for realization across the team of any sox compliancy or testing gaps that might still exist.


5 responses to “Eliciting Requirements”

  1. robert daley says:

    Will anymore of your books be on amazon? I have all but
    IT Analyst Interview Q&A and Résumé Tips and Eliciting and Documenting Detailed Business Requirements.

    I am a new BA and not sure if I should read your books in any specific order. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Teresa Bennett says:

      Hi Robert – so glad you are finding the books useful! Some of them do not translate well to the kindle format so I’m working on them to make changes so they fit better on the Kindle. So yes, they will be available soon. I’ll send you an email when I get the formatting changes completed and get them published on the Kindle.

      • robert daley says:

        Great, I will probably get both copies the one from your website and the kindle version. Your books are succinct and to the point they have helped me immensely. Other materials are filled with so much fluff I could not figure out what I need and what I could throw away.

        Any thanks for the quick response, I will look forward to your email and future blogs.

  2. robert daley says:

    Is there a difference in both these books?
    Eliciting and Documenting Detailed Business Requirements and
    What is a BRD, Why Do I Need It, and What Goes in It?

    • Teresa Bennett says:

      Hey Robert – the Eliciting and Documenting Detailed Business Requirements is very similar to the BRD book, so I wouldn’t recommend purchasing that one from the site.

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