Programming & Development

BA04 - Eliciting and Writing Effective Requirements


You will revisit the foundational concepts of business analysis and discuss the importance of requirements to project success. A deep exploration of requirements and requirements categories is provided. You will learn how to perform a deep exploration of your stakeholders as a starting point to the requirements process. You will be presented with guidance and helpful instruction for planning and preparing for elicitation and documentation. A number of popular and common elicitation techniques are explored. The best practices for writing and documenting requirements are shared. A thorough presentation of requirements and solution validation is provided. NOTE: This course will earn you 21 PDUs.

Who Should Attend
This course is intended for beginner to intermediate business and requirements analysts who are looking to improve their elicitation and requirements writing and documentation skills. This course is also a great fit for technical writers, product and software testers, project managers, product owners who work closely with business analysts or who perform some for of business analysis themselves.

Course Objectives
• Understand the role of the business analyst and core competencies for performing successfully • Discuss the criticality of business analysis and requirements for successful project outcomes • Understand the main professional associations and standards supporting business analysts in the industry • Discuss the common problems with requirements and explore approaches to address these issues • Obtain a clear understanding of the various requirements types and the significance for eliciting each type • Demonstrate your ability to identify stakeholders • Explore various methods for understanding and analyzing stakeholders • Discuss and apply good planning practices to requirements elicitation efforts • Obtain knowledge and understanding of over 15 current and commonly applied elicitation techniques • Understand how to progress from elicitation to analysis to documentation • Write well-formed and validated requirements • Gain understanding of the best practices for writing quality requirements • Learn the technical writing techniques that apply directly to writing requirements documents • Discuss writing pitfalls, risks that impact requirements, and how to address them • Learn best practices for communicating and collaborating with stakeholders, sharing the results of elicitation and the resulting documentation • Learn approaches for validating requirements • Understand the difference between validating requirements and validating the solution

Course Outline:

Definition of a business analysis
Definition of business analyst
BA role vs. PM role
Business analysis competencies
Benefits of business analysis
Purpose for having a BA standard
IIBA’s BABOK® Guide and PMI’s Practice Guide in Business Analysis
Business analysis core concepts
Project challenges
Common problems with requirements
Understand the problem first
Define the business need
Situation statements and moving to requirements
Understanding requirement types
Business requirements
Stakeholder/User Requirements
Solution Requirements
Functional Requirements
Non-Functional Requirements
Assumptions and Constraints
Requirement Problems
Business Needs
Definition of a stakeholder
Stakeholder types
Identifying stakeholders
Performing stakeholder analysis
Stakeholders and requirements
Tips for identifying stakeholders
Grouping stakeholders
Creating a RACI model
Tips for analyzing stakeholders
Documenting results of stakeholder analysis
Discovering stakeholders
Planning for elicitation
Benefits of elicitation planning
What do you plan?
The elicitation plan
Setting objectives for elicitation
Determining the scope for elicitation
Establishing pre-work
Determining the outputs for the session
The iterative nature of elicitation
Elicitation roles
Elicitation planning techniques
Who to involve in elicitation
Planning Impacts
Unplanned elicitation
Planning for elicitation
Elicitation skillset
Types of elicitation techniques
Using active listening in elicitation
Techniques for performing elicitation
Benchmarking/Market Analysis
Business Rules Analysis
Collaborative Games
Concept Modeling
Data Mining
Data Modeling
Document Analysis
Focus Groups
Interface Analysis
Process Modeling
Survey or Questionnaire
Elicitation and Analysis
Requirements related issues
Implications of bad requirements
Elicitation and documentation
Writing skillset
Documenting requirements
Modeling requirements
Defining the project life cycle
Impact of project life cycle on documentation
Requirements specifications
Characteristics of good requirements
Guidelines for writing textual requirements
Structuring a requirement
Writing pitfalls
Requirements attributes
Risks associated to requirements
Project Life Cycle
Correcting Poorly Written Requirements
Documenting Requirements
Identify Characteristics of Good Requirements
Business analysis communication
Requirements communication
Communication skills
The 7 Cs
Timing of communication
Planning communication
Importance of Collaboration
Planning collaboration
Documenting communication/collaboration needs
Confirming elicitation results
Verify requirements
Characteristics of good requirements (revisited)
Requirements checklist
Requirements validation
Signing off on requirements
Responsibility for Communication
Eliciting Communication Needs
Communicating Requirements
Obtaining Signoff
Business analyst role in solution evaluation
Why solutions under perform
What we are looking for in solution evaluation
When does solution evaluation occur
Performing solution evaluation
Planning solution evaluation
Metrics that might exist
Evaluating long term performance
Qualitative vs. quantitative measures
Tools & techniques used in solution evaluation
Comparing expected to actuals
When solution evaluation discovers a variance
Tools/techniques for analyzing variances
Proposing a recommendation
Communicating results of solution evaluation
Addressing Variance
Useful books and links on writing effective requirements
BABOK® Guide
Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide

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