Posted by tac_admin, June 13, 2011

The Art of Note Taking

Taking notes during requirements gathering sessions can sometimes be a daunting task.

If you have a room of 15 very vocal business partners and subject matter experts, it can be difficult to take notes and keep the meeting on track.

I have had questions around note taking from my clients and I want to give a few pointers for this.

  1. If possible, have another scribe in the room. Take notes yourself, but also have a back-up note taker as well to help ensure you capture everything.
  2. Make sure you capture any action items that come out of the discussions.
  3. When writing down a requirement, try to capture the name of the person that gave you that requirement. You will find this to be invaluable information if you need to go back to that person to ask for clarification or more details related to that requirement.
  4. Create a “parking lot” for future discussions. When conversation moves into an area not related to the topic, stop the conversation and tell everyone you’re capturing that issue as a parking lot item to go back to at a later time. If you can post paper on the wall to write on, people in the room can help you take down the parking lot items on that paper.
  5. Try to cover items that go together. For example, if you’re adding 3 new processes to a web application start with one process and try to go from the beginning to the end of that process capturing the requirements and any action items as you talk through it. Then move on to the next process. You’ll usually end up with some back and forth because people will think of things later that apply to a process already talked about, but start out going over one process at a time to minimize that as much as possible.

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