Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA)

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The difficulty of gathering information and establishing requirements, owing to the chaotic nature of the business world, is clear to see. Every business analyst must overcome their own Mad Tea Party if they are to be successful in carrying out their mission. As Alice is confronted with the unreliability of the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse, so too is the analyst faced with unreliable stakeholders. In her attempts to gain an understanding of the never-ending tea party, Alice’s use of elicitation is effectively useless in the face of endless riddles, an unconventional sense of time, and undependable characters.  Analysts find themselves in comparable environments with various degrees of chaos and unpredictability. 

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We implemented A/B testing into our product 6 months ago. During that time we conducted a variety of A/B tests to generate insights about our user's behaviour. We learnt a lot about our specific product. More generally, we learnt about how to run valuable A/B tests.
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Most discussions about software requirements deal with business information systems and similar projects. The world is also full of products that use software to control hardware devices, broadly called embedded systems. Among countless examples are cell phones, television remote controls, kiosks of all sorts, Internet routers, and robot cars.  This is the first article of two that will discuss some of the requirements issues that are especially important to embedded and other real-time systems.

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Often I come across situations where a BA is unprepared or under-prepared in approaching the requirements elicitation process. This leads to irritated business users, incomplete requirements, significant delays, reworks, and poor opinion about BA's in general. I decided to put together a list of prerequisites that a BA must complete before commencing requirements elicitation process.
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With the rise in popularity of agile methods, business analysts and product owners often use the term “agile requirements” to label their work.  We do not care for the term “agile requirements” because it implies that the requirements for an agile project are somehow qualitatively different from those for projects following other life cycles. A developer needs to know the same information to be able to correctly implement the right functionality regardless of the life cycle being used.

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Gathering and documenting requirements to develop software is often seen by business analysts as their core task. Actually, they are there to deliver value to the business—everything else is secondary.

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Requirements are inputs to achieve the project objectives that transcend from routine operations to enhance the value proposition of a business endeavour. Stakeholders invariably perceive an endeavour to be successful only if they are able to clearly correlate the derived outcome to predefined business requirements. Thus project success is best defined in terms of effective user requirements.
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Many business analysts focus their full attention on tasks related to specifying, modeling, verifying, and validating requirements. And in doing so, they often forget about a critically important aspect of the BA work:requirements prioritization... Since good prioritizing skills help teams deliver business value faster, it’s a key competency for business analysts to develop. An effective to get better at prioritizing requirements is to follow this 3-step approach during the requirements discovery process.

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This article discusses a tool for documenting, categorizing, ranking and decomposing various types of requirements (business/user and solution).  The business analyst (BA) can use this tool to capture high-level business and user requirements and then decompose them into solution requirements. In fact, the tool can be used multiple times and results strung together to provide forward and backward traceability of requirements through specification and test cases. 

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Despite of all the extensive literature available on Requirements Analysis, it is hard to find one which proposes an established framework on how to use this tool in general sense of application. However, let’s try to map a generic algorithm that can be leveraged for suitable circumstances since every problem or situation is different from the other. We need to calibrate our analytic skills such that a general algorithm can be applied suitably depending on the situation(s).

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This is a story of an outsourced product implementation contract between two companies, FinCo and ProdCo. What started out as an exciting contract turned out to be a bitter experience for both the companies. There are lessons to be learnt from this story – about outsourced contracts, about setting expectations and above all, about good old business requirements.
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This article explores strategy mapping as discussed within Business Architecture Guild BIZBOK, and attempts to extend the discussion by defining a set of information and graphical principles that allows strategy to be represented graphically.
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This article provides an in depth study on the concept of traceability, together with its implications and applications within a business context. Traceability is a term used in the IIBA BABOK, among other professional practices, in the context of requirements where requirements are said to be traced that provides alignment of requirements to each other. This implies that there are different classes or abstractions of requirements such as stakeholder, business and functional requirements. Traceability allows the alignment between all types or abstractions of requirements, telling a kind of story to how they all interrelate. 
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This is the eleventh in a series that explains the thinking behind the Volere requirements techniques— previous and future articles explore aspects of applying these techniques in your environment.

This article focuses on the often-asked question: why, when I ask for requirements, do people give me solutions and what can I do to get the real requirement?
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 Managers often ask me what return on investment (ROI) they can expect from the money they spend on training, process improvement, and tools for requirements engineering. I’d love to give them a nice, tidy answer—but I can’t. As with so many questions in software, the correct answer is, “It depends.” This article explores some of the factors that influence what ROI an organization can expect from better requirements.

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