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New Post 11/20/2007 8:02 AM
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User is offline GBusiness
35 posts
9th Level Poster


Requirements Gathering 

Hello All,

I am currently working as a client support analyst but I have completed a business analysis course and would like to get into BA. Could someone please tell me the process of gathering requirements. Where do you start? How do you organize a JAD session. How do you involve the participants? What do you require to begin gathering requirements and so?

Thank you,

GC

 

 

 
New Post 11/21/2007 12:54 AM
User is offline bofehr
10 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Requirements Gathering 

Hi GC,

it depends, as I we all learn to say soon: What general project are you talking about? Who are the people sponsoring the project? What is the general consensus around the project? Are there limitations?

The next steps then is to get the people together who can give you the information you are looking for. Plan for several sessions, if you are at the beginning. In the first session I normally just ask the people: Tell me about your business. If there is enough time, I ask: What do you want the new system for? / What do you try to achieve with the changes or implementation?

Once they have answered the question, go back and think about the answers. What I find is that in 90% I have to talk to the people again, asking: What is it that you really want? This is primarily because they have just given you their ideas and how the system should work. People tend to tell you the solution instead of telling you the problem they have and let you come up with a solution, once you know the problem. So go and ask more specific: What problems do you have and which ones do you want to solve with a new software?

How you involve the people is simple: Only ask questions, otherwise be quiet and listen. Clarify everything that you don't understand. Don't pretend to understand the business talk. If a marketing expert is talking about their POV, POS, and using all their industry releated acronyms, stop them. Get them to tell you what they are actually talking about. Get them to explain what their POS (point of sales) is, what stores etc.

Being an analyst is half about asking the right questions and listening, then going back and writing it all down in a way that everybody understands it.

Then start to break down the problems. A "problem in the sales process" is not specific. So you will need to talk to the sales manager and several other people to understand the sales process in detail. Your project sponsor normally does not know enough about the problem, thats why he has you. You need to find the flaws in the process. 

I am not a huge fan of endless meetings in a conference room, giving powerpoint presentations using impressiv language. Keep it simple and short. After about 1.5 hours, concentration will drop. Others as well as yours. 

Then make a list of all the requirements that you have gathered with a reason why and the problem that this requirement addresses. If there is no problem, why do they want it? Then you can go back and ask if that is all. When they are happy that these are all the problems you have to solve, get them to sign them of. Now you can start to sit down and describe everything in more detail with process mappings, use cases or whatever lovley tool you want to use. 

Hope that helps. Any questions?

Björn 

 
New Post 11/21/2007 12:00 PM
User is offline GBusiness
35 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: Requirements Gathering 
Modified By GBusiness  on 11/21/2007 2:00:48 PM)

Hello Björn,

Thank you very much for your reply. It is very helpful. One question, I was told that the number of documents that you have to produce (i.e the deliverables that should be included in the Scope document) depend on the company. What if the company depends on you to come up with the most appropriate documents, which ones are good? I think that the use case diagram and use case documents must always be one of the deliverables and also the scope document. Am I right?

 

What is the difference between requirements gathering and a JAD session?

What is requirement elicitation and how does it differ from requirements gathering?

Thank you very much for your help!

 

GC

 

 
New Post 11/21/2007 3:44 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
319 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: Requirements Gathering 

You may find the Modern Analyst Interview Questions  helpful as there is a least one on JAD sessions and one on problems face while gathering requriements

Chris


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 11/22/2007 2:09 AM
User is offline bofehr
10 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Requirements Gathering 

Hi GC,

the number of documents are really depending on the approach and methodology (if any) you are using. (Just as an example, I am currently working on a multi million project in which I have the feeling we produce more paper and documentation then everything else. I would not recommend this approach for small or medium size projects though.)

I would suggest you should get a project scope document or charter. This is your initiation document. Be clear that this document is a framework and will only outline the general approach and no details. Make also sure that all figures given are always clearly marked as illustrative (a rule with this is you could be wrong in between -10% to +100%). This document should outline objectives and goals, time, man power needed and man days and how you want the project to be setup as well as who are the owners and stakeholders. This should be done in conjunction with the project manager.

Another question GC, is there a project manager? If yes, sit down with him and hammer out the details on this document.

Go and get a sign off for this document. Then you can start with requirements etc. and produce a requirements document. I would then consider Business Process mapping and docuemntation. On this I would then base Use Cases.

I don't know anything about differences between "elicitation" and "gathering". But as I am a native German, I just might have never come across it. Elicitation and gathering  - I would say - are the same. 

Hope that helps... 

Björn 

 
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