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New Post 5/13/2019 5:27 AM
User is offline S2Kap
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Eliciting Non-Functional (vs. business or functional) Requirements 



As a Business Analyst “of a certain age”, I have tremendous experience eliciting requirements, primarily of the business and functional variety. I have those BA responsibilities – figuring out the “what” and the “how” - pretty much down pat.


I just took a job where my focus will be on non-functional requirements: the “how good”. The company created this position because they felt they’d been neglecting these types of requirements and I must admit that, although I haven’t exactly neglected them over my career, they’ve been a kind of afterthought, definitely not given the same level of attention as business or functional requirements.


So, my question: is there an effective methodology, or heuristic, or both, that you use to gather non-functional requirements (which would be different from that used to gather other types of requirements)?


Asking business users to specify non-functional criteria has always seemed problematic:

-  How fast do you need the system to be?

-  Super fast!


- How reliable does it have to be?

- 100% reliable!


Why would a user ask for anything less? Rather than trying to elicit these requirements from end-users, I'm thinking maybe it makes more sense to take the functional requirements to the Development team to baseline them and come back to the business with recommendations rather than questions.


Has anyone used this approach? If so, does it work? If not, what approach have you found works best?


Any and all feedback appreciated! Thanks,




New Post Yesterday @ 1:38 AM
User is offline Krishna 02
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Re: Eliciting Non-Functional (vs. business or functional) Requirements 

Hi Stew,

You have asked a relevant question. Agree that mostly as a BA we focus more on functional requirements and non functional ones are either an after-thought or come up during UAT etc.

I work with Treasury systems and for us non functional requirements are mainly about Performance (Response time) and Usability.

For Performance metrics - checking with Dev team and making a recommendation to Users - sounds like a good idea. Would only add that, maybe we can also put ourselves in the shoes of a Functional user or talk to an actual user who is practical :-) and come up with independent expectation. Then we could sync up and finalise a good metric to achieve.

For Usability - i think the Agile model is a good solution. With smaller releases and regular involvement from BA / Product Owner / User in reviewing the System, usability issues can be effectively addressed. In a way, the Agile cycle could help fine tuning Performance requirements as well.

Thanks and Best regards


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