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Requirements Gathering for Small Enterprises

Right-size the guidelines of your requirements gathering process.

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Contributors

  • Douglas Van Gelder, IT Manager, Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles
  • Michael Lyons, Transit Management Analyst, Metropolitan Transit Authority
  • Ken Piddington, CIO, MRE Consulting
  • Thomas Dong, Enterprise Software Manager, City of Waterloo
  • Chad Evans, Director of IT, Ontario Northland
  • Three anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • Strong business requirements are essential to solution delivery – inadequate requirements are the number one reason that projects fail.
  • Organizations need a consistent, repeatable, and prescriptive set of guidelines that inform how business requirements gathering should be conducted.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

A successful requirements gathering practitioner is someone who has found balance between communication, documentation, collaboration, and control. For small enterprises, that balance should sway towards communication over documentation and collaboration over control.

Impact and Result

  • Create a playbook that walks the practitioner through elicitation, analysis, and validation.
  • Outline the degree of process rigor throughout these steps and shape your requirements gathering process to fit your common scenarios.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why consistent requirements gathering is so critical and understand how Info-Tech’s methodology helps you right-size your process guidelines.

1. Lay your foundations

Determine the initial process flow and guidelines for requirements gathering.

2. Plan and elicit

Build a scenario-appropriate elicitation framework.

3. Analyze and validate

Create requirement packages fit for purpose.

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Module 1: Lay Your Foundations

The Purpose

Understand the goals, constraints, and different requirements scenarios your team faces.

Key Benefits Achieved

Initial process guidelines align to requirements scenarios.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Define Goals and Metrics

  • Determine challenges with current state
  • Set your goals and metrics
1.2

Select Requirements Scenarios

1.3

Create Process Flow

  • Develop high-level process flow and guidelines
1.4

Add Collaboration, Communication, Control, and Documentation

Module 2: Build Your Elicitation Framework

The Purpose

Understand the techniques for planning and conducting requirements elicitation.

Key Benefits Achieved

Elicitation frameworks align to requirements scenarios.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Review & Select Elicitation Techniques

  • Develop an elicitation framework with appropriate techniques and requirement models
2.2

Review & Select Requirements Models

  • Elicitation Techniques & requirement Model Guide
2.3

Create a Requirements Gathering Elicitation Plan for Your Project

  • Project Elicitation Schedule
2.4

Update Process Guidelines

Module 3: Elicit Requirements

The Purpose

Use an example project to test elicitation framework, techniques, and models.

Key Benefits Achieved

Experience with elicitation and modelling techniques.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Practice Using Interviews With Business Stakeholders to Build Use Case Models.

  • Gain experience with stakeholder interviews
3.2

Practice Using Table-Top Testing With Business Stakeholders to Build Use Case Models.

  • Produce use case models
3.3

Retrospective and Update Process Guidelines

Module 4: Analyze and Validate

The Purpose

Refine and prioritize requirements and create scenario-appropriate requirements packages.

Key Benefits Achieved

Refinement and prioritization techniques and requirement package guidelines.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Categorize and Consolidate Requirements

  • Refined requirements
4.2

Prioritize Requirements

  • Prioritized requirements
4.3

Define and Populate Requirements Package

  • Scenario-appropriate requirements packages
4.4

Finalize Requirement Gathering Playbook

  • Requirement Gathering Playbook
4.5

Develop Requirements Gathering Action Plan

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