There are various techniques are available to process the business requirement gathering. I was exploring more into this process and found that as per Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), there are 10 standard techniques for business requirement gathering.
Before getting into the techniques list, let me share another point. The nature of a requirements gathering task should affect the mindset with which you approach it. Some tasks are “do it like this” tasks, while others are “you’re the expert – tell me what I need” tasks. My recent experience, I was discussing with marketing team about the requirement (brainstorm session), one of the member asked “you are the expert in the development and performance areas, so what I need?”. Very different approaches to solving problems. nah?
There are various activities that are a form of requirement gathering. So it is difficult to determine which approach to use in what circumstance. I believe that, by categorizing the requirement gathering into different types that will make more win-win situation.
Here are the broad classification of requirement gathering into three activities;
- 1. Existing System Business Requirements
- 2. Known New Business Requirements
- 3. Unknown Business Requirements
There is big challenges for doing an extremely valuable work and that will construct the choices about requirements to gather. Hence the above categories can help in narrowing the approaches and makeup of your mind to get effectiveness on each technique. Every techniques comes with its own merits and demerits. But also keep in mind that, no project works using one gathering technique but make use of many techniques. Some techniques will be noticeably more effective than others. The makeup of your mind will affect the overall effectiveness of each technique.
The requirement gathering techniques may differ from one project to another. Some requirement gathering techniques may prove highly beneficial for you in one project but may not be as productive in the other project or for some other company. Therefore the usefulness of a technique is determined by its need and the kind of advantages it offers in a particular project. There are 10 essential requirement gathering techniques that you must be aware of in order to manage the projects in a better way and run your business successfully are:
- Document Analysis
- Focus Group
- Interface Analysis
- Requirements Workshop
- Reverse Engineering
Techniques involving visualization of the requirements like storyboards, prototypes, scenarios are helpful when you have a business user who may not be worried about the ins and outs of technical solution. By the way, in a typical UCD process, there are methods which we can get an fair idea about the user’s mental model. However, what would be the approach in the absence of users involvement?
We will continue exploring these questions related to requirement gathering and wide range of methods for gathering users and their tasks.