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New Post 10/23/2007 11:28 PM
User is offline kris
12 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Requiremens Role-play: Bank ATM Example 

Hi Chris and Sr.BA’s,

I am documenting the answers next to my questions in a table format. I also intend to first make a list of requirements from my 1st set of questions, identify gaps, document them in a logical manner and then approach the stakeholder again with more questions. Every question I ask later will be added to the table and the answers will be noted accordingly.

This is my plan and I am already trying to figure out an easy way (without complicating things and confusing myself) of how I can document the requirements in a simple and concise way.

An example of how I plan to document the requirement is as follows: (this may not be the best approach )

Users:

1.        Only Cyberbank customer can access the system.

1.1.               Other bank customers and international bank customers will not be able to use this system in the current phase.

Functionality

2.        The system shall allow Cyberbank customers to perform the following functions:

2.1.               Check balances of all their accounts

2.1.1.                       All accounts will have this functionality

2.2.               Withdraw cash from all their accounts

2.2.1.                       Customers will not be able to withdraw cash from CD accounts. (this is just an example as I need to verify this with the stakeholder) (this is just an example as I need to verify this with the stakeholder)

2.3.               Deposit cash and cheques to all their accounts

2.3.1.                       All accounts will have this functionality

2.4.               Print account balances of all their accounts

2.4.1.                       All accounts will have this functionality

2.5.               User access functionality

2.5.1.                       How the user logs into the ATM

3.        Hardware

4.        Maintenance

4.1.               Operational feature such as replacing cash, envelopes, printing paper etc.

 

I do have a few questions from the Sr BA’s to help me in documenting the requirements

  • Should I first start with the functions that the system should perform? E.g. Check balance, withdraw cash, deposit cash/cheques, print account balances etc?
  • Do I need to go in depth as to how the functions are performed?
  • Should I group the requirements into different groups? For example functionality, hardware, maintenance etc.
  • Will I need to follow any specific template to document my requirements? Will I need to expand on the requirements with the help of use cases? (I guess this will be at a later stage)
  • Should I put down all requirements in a table so I can keep a track of the progress?
  • How can I use the traceability matrix and what is the best format?

I guess my questions are all over the place and I need to identify a simple and logical approach to resolve my issues.  Your tips and suggestions as to how I go about managing this process in a simple way would be helpful.

Regards,

Kris

 
New Post 10/24/2007 10:24 PM
Online now... Adrian M.
741 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Requiremens Role-play: Bank ATM Example 

Hi Kris,

I'll switch to Sr. BA for a second... ;-)  

Your first set of questions was very good and covered a broad range of topics.  This is actually a great approach at the beginning of the requirements elicitation process as it quickly allows you to sample various areas in order to assess what is important to the client and what is not.   So, to start, don't worry about your questions being all over the place...  As a matter of fact, while your questions covered a variety of topics they were well organized.

One quick tip for you and others following this is thread is to use this technique to your advantage.  Now is the time to identify at the high-level what are the most important requirements and what are not requirements so that you avoid spending your energy in items which are of no interest to the stakeholders.  In addition, consider an iterative approach - that is find out which requirements have a higher priority than others and focus on those first.

Down the line this would translate into the first pilot or release of the system.  In general, it's always a good idea to get to a working system sooner than later even if the first release only fulfills the top 20% of the requirements.  Just make sure they are the top 20%.

I'm not saying to through away requirements just that you might want to table some for later and others to pursue in more detail.

Just some food for thought!

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 11/1/2007 3:17 PM
User is offline H
4 posts
No Ranking


Re: Requiremens Role-play: Bank ATM Example 

I'm a developer looking to move to a BA role. This would be great exercise for me to get involved in.

Count me in!

H

 
New Post 10/29/2007 6:41 PM
User is offline kris
12 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Requiremens Role-play: Bank ATM Example 
Modified By Adrian M.  on 10/30/2007 8:04:03 PM)

Hi Adrian & Sr. Ba’s,

As per your suggestion I have identified some high level requirements. As expected more questions have come up as I have started writing down the requirements (table in post). I have put them down as requirements but with comments that I will have to take up with the stakeholder.

Process of identifying the requirements:

I have taken the answers provided by the stakeholders matched it with my questions and then asked myself questions if it will help with the solution.

Some answers were vague and I need more specific answers, so I put down more specific questions (to ask the stakeholder) to help identify the functions that need to be performed by the ATM.

Some features requested by the user that can be used for the next phase have also been noted so that I can go back to it later for the next phase if required.

Documents I have so far:

1 document listing my questions and the answers I receive from the stakeholder.
1 document with the requirements.
Question relating to verification process with internal systems: The answer by the stakeholder is that it is a great question for the IT folks. I am not too sure how to proceed with this answer.
I am not too sure about the interaction of the ATM with the main online applications. I have put down a comment to talk to the application experts but am not sure here too.
Will I have to talk to the IT team again for the security aspect as well?

S.No
Requirement description
Comments
Additional features – next phase
1
Only Cyberbank customers shall access the system.
Confirmed by S/H
Other bank customers can access the ATM.
1.1
The system shall validate the debit card entered by the customer though a set an authorised PIN number.
Confirmed by S/H but need to confirm if a 4 digit PIN is acceptable.
Synchronisation of ATM PIN with online PIN number.
Credit card facilities will be introduced in the next phase.
1.2
The system shall lock the customer’s access if the customer enters the incorrect PIN.
Confirmed by S/H but need to confirm the number of times a customer is allowed to enter the PIN before locking the customer’s access. (3 try’s)
2
The system shall display the different types of accounts maintained by the customer.
Confirmed by S/H
2.1
The system shall allow customers check their savings, cheque, CD and money market accounts.
Confirmed by S/H
2.2
The system shall interact with the main on-line applications to display the customers savings, cheque, CD and money market accounts
Confirmed by S/H but need to talk to the online application experts and the IT team.
3
The system shall allow customers withdraw cash only from their saving, cheque, CD and money market accounts. The ATM shall not dispense coins and cheques to the customers.
The answer - ‘All accounts should be accessible in one form or another from the ATM machine’ is very vague. I need to understand more specific information about the type of accounts and the functions for each type of account.
I also need to confirm if the customer can conduct as many transactions a day until they reach the maximum amount for the day.
3.1
The system shall allow customers withdraw a minimum of …$ and a maximum of .. $ each day from their savings account.
Confirmed by the S/H but need to confirm the minimum and maximum account.
3.2
The system shall allow customers withdraw a minimum of …$ and a maximum of .. $ each day from their cheque account.
Confirmed by the S/H but need to confirm the minimum and maximum account.
3.3
The system shall allow customers withdraw a minimum of …$ and a maximum of .. $each day from their CD accounts
Confirmed by the S/H but need to confirm the minimum and maximum account.
CD’s are generally locked for a set period of time. So can a customer withdraw money from this account?
What is the procedure of withdrawal for this type of account?
3.4
The system shall allow customers withdraw a minimum of …$ and a maximum of .. $each day from their money market accounts.
Confirmed by the S/H but need to confirm the minimum and maximum account.
4
The system shall allow customers to deposit cash only (no coins) into the saving, cheque, CD and money market accounts
Since this is cash:
Confirmed by the S/H but need to confirm if there is a minimum and maximum amount that can be deposited in all the accounts.
Need to confirm if there is a limit on the number of transactions for deposits per day.
5
The system shall allow customers to deposit cheques into the saving, cheque, CD and money market accounts.
Confirmed by the S/H but need to confirm if there is a minimum and maximum amount that can be deposited in all the accounts.
6
The system shall allow customers print account balances of their savings, cheque, CD and money market accounts.
Confirmed by S/H
7
The system shall notify the Cyberbank employee when the ATM faces technical errors and is becomes inoperable.
This is requested by the S/H
An email will need to be sent to the cyberbank employee (possible administrator) for all possible errors.
7.1
When the ATM is not working the system shall automatically display predefined error messages to enable customers of the technical issue.
An example of a possible technical issue could be when there is a failure of other applications interacting with the ATM.
7.2
The system shall notify the Cyberbank employee when the ATM is running low on cash.
An email will need to be sent to the cyberbank employee (possible administrator) when cash run low. The cash delivery company is then notified to replace the funds.
The same process will need to happens when the envelopes and printing paper is running low.
7.3
The system shall notify the Cyberbank employee when the ATM is running low in envelopes and paper.
An email will need to be sent to the cyberbank employee (possible administrator) when the ATM is running low on envelopes and paper.
8
The ATM shall use the standard ATM machine with an inbuilt card reader, ATM monitor, keypad, cash dispenser, deposit slot, and receipt printer.
Confirmed by S/H
9
Verification process
??
10
Security
??

 

Regards,

Kris

 
New Post 10/30/2007 10:12 PM
Online now... Adrian M.
741 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Requiremens Role-play: Bank ATM Example 

Hi Kris,

I'll be a Sr. BA one more time (I'm not sure if you are ready for me to answer the next set of questions or you were just waiting for the other Sr. BAs to provide feedback on your findings).

Here is some feedback:

  • You requirements are well organized and you are now focusing on the most important ones,
  • You are noticing the vague requirements - this is key for any BA - in every project you will get ambiguous information and it is the job of the business analyst to clear them up,
  • On the question for the IT folks...  I tossed that in there because many BAs expect the subject matter expert to have all the answers however that is not always the case.  This is the case especially when dealing with existing systems with which you might have to interface with.  In these cases, the BA will have to understand them by working with the technical teams (systems analysts, developers, etc.) who are in charge of maintaining those systems.  FYI: I will play the other roles also (tech side) just direct your questions to that audience.

Here are a couple more thoughts on the artifacts.  You were wondering about the requirements as a list vs. use cases.  In most cases you should not have to maintain both (at least for the functional requirements).  Use case specifications (details) are really another way of documenting functional requirements.  So you have a few options:

  • Continue using the list/outline format,
  • Switch to a use case format,
  • Use both.

I think that for the time being it might be enough to continue the outline format of the requirements.  I generally do like to create a Use Case diagram as soon as possible because it forces me to do two things: identify the users (actors) of the system as well as the key functions which need to be performed.

As far as traceability matrix goes - you are not there yet.  I realize that traceability is such a buzz word however, in order to have a traceability matrix you need to have at least two types of things to trace.  The traceability matrix for example would be useful when tracing (mapping) high-level feature requests to detailed requirements, or detailed requirements to functional specifications/design, or functional specifications to technical specifications, etc.

Great work so far!

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
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