TSE022 Data Gathering and Requirements Elicitation

Course Description

For a project to be effective and produce quality results, we must focus on the true needs of the business and the objectives of the Client /User. To determine these, it is necessary to gather information form a variety of stakeholders and subject matter experts, and to locate and use documentation and other sources of information

This workshop covers techniques for gathering information about project requirements, assumptions and constraints and communicating it to project stakeholders. These skills are essential for Business Analysts, Systems Analysts, Developers, Liaisons, Project Managers and Project Team Members. The techniques covered include interviewing, facilitated requirements workshops, document analysis, observation and questionnaires. By bridging the communications gap, the production of quality products, on time, within budget, and without surprises, can become a reality!

Participants involved with PMI®, The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional – PMP or Professional in Business Analysis – PMI-PBA programs, are awarded 8 or 16 PDUs or “Contact hours” (depending on the version taught).   We are also an EEP, Endorsed Education Provider of the IIBA™. The workshop uses concepts from the IIBA BABOK and awards 14 CDUs.

Upon completion of this workshop, each participant will be able to:
  1. Produce a Requirements Elicitation Plan for a project.
  2. Plan and conduct one and two member interviews, under differing conditions and atmospheres.
  3. Develop questionnaires and surveys.
  4. Conduct effective observation or ‘job shadowing’.
  5. Plan and conduct JAD sessions and Requirements Elicitation Workshops.
  6. Perform document analysis effectively.
  7. Establish rapport with Users, Business Partners and related Stakeholders;
  8. Document information gathered, and plan follow-up action.

This is a true workshop!  It includes lecture, reading, presentations of sample problems, case study simulations, role-play, and a variety of additional class exercises.  

Course Outline

         I.     Introduction and Overview

                           A. Course Objectives

                           B. The Need for a Formal Data Gathering Methodology

                           C. PMI and the PMI-PBA Certification

                           C. The IIBA™ and the BABOK

                           D. Roles and Data Gathering Responsibilities

                                    1. IT Personnel

                                    2. Liaisons and Business Analysts

                                    3. Customers / Users

                           E. Customer Service Requirements

         II.    The Interactive Interview (Attempting 2-way Communication)

                           A. The Goals of the Interview

                                    1. IT Information Gathering

                                    2. The Iterative Process of Defining Needs and Objectives

                                    3. Negotiating Agreements (Creating a Win/Win Situation)

                           B. The Types of Questions and Techniques

                                    1. Closed and Open-Ended Questions

                                    2. Self-Assessing Questions

                                    3. Tested Questions

                                    4. Redundant and Threatening Questions

                                    5. The Broad Brush Approach

                                    6. Rephrasing/Restating Technique

                                    7. Hypothesis Technique

                                    8. Projective (Prototype) Method

                           C. The Art of Creative Listening

                                    1. How to do it (Listen)!

                                    2. When to interrupt (and When not to!)

                                    3. Using the Interruption effectively (When the phone rings)

                                    4. Body language

                                        a. what it means

                                        b. understanding the messages

                                        c. using it

         III.   Tools for the Interview

                           A. Creating the Unambiguous Question

                                    1. Formulating Objectives of the Meeting

                                    2. Developing Topics

                                    3. Testing the Questions and Topics

                                          a. complexity test

                                          b. jargon test

                                          c. verbal test

                                          d. stress test

                                          e. ambiguity test

                                          f. peer review test

                           B. Using the Projective (PROTOTYPE) Technique

                                    1. The Objective

                                    2. Creating the Document / Screen

                                    3. Administering the Sample

                                    4. Evaluating the Results (retry)

                                    5. When the Technique should be used

                           C. Tested Questions – from the In-house SDLC

                                    1. Preparation and Use

                                    2. Evaluation

                                    3. Follow-up Questions for more Detail

         IV.   Creating the Interview Plan

                           A. Scoping the Interview

                           B. Reviewing Existing Information

                           C. Creating the Interview Questionnaire

                                    1. Writing and Testing the Questions and when to just use topics

                                    2. Mixing Question Type and Technique

                                    3. Sequence the Questions (Flow)

                           D. Using a Feedback Checklist

                           E. Preparing the Material and Equipment List

                           F. The Dry Run

                                    1. When necessary

                                    2. Level of Formality

                                    3. When to restart

         V.    Conducting the Interview

                           A. Establishing the Control Environment

                                    1. Creating the proper climate

                                    2. Timing

                                    3. Setting the pace

                                    4. Who does the Opening?

                                    5. The Interruption

                           B. Changing the Interview Plan

                                    1. Thinking on your feet (or seat)

                                    2. Don't waste anybody's time

                                    3. Rescheduling the interview

                           C. The Hypothesis Method

                           D. Win/Win Negotiations

                           E. How to Use the Feedback Checklist

                           F. The Bridging Close

                                      1. Setting the stage for follow-up

         VI.   Interview Concerns

                           A. Number of Participants at the Interview

                                    1. Is someone in charge?

                                    2. A scribe or a partner?

                                    3. Individual or a Team

                                    4. Don't intimidate the User with a crowd

                           B. Preconceptions of the Client/User and IS

                           C. The Use of Jargon

                                    1. A major complaint

                                    2. IS and Business terminology

                                    3. Using Humor (If done wrong, may not be a laughing matter)

                           D. Loss of Control

                                    1. Lacking precision

                                    2. Anxiety? Good!

                                    3. Over Control (Not letting anyone else speak)

                                    4. Under Control (Too much digression)

                           E. Recording the Interview

                                    1. Recorders are hazardous to trust!

                                    2. Note taking - How to do it well.

          VII.      Joint Meetings – aka JAD Sessions

                             A. The Steps of the JAD Sessions

                                     1. Define the Project

                                     2. Research

                                     3. Preparation

                                     4. The JAD Itself

                                     5. Closure

                             B. Objectives for Facilitation

                                      1. Establish Success Criteria

                                      2. Establish Goals

                                      3. Establish Participants

                              C. Preparation – by Session Role

                                       1. The different Types of Meetings

                                       2. Contact Attendees

                                       3. Learning about Participants

                               D. The Set-up

                                        1. Location

                                        2. Time

                                        3. Privacy

                                        4. Layout

                                        5. Responsibilities

                                  E. Agenda

                                        1.  Develop it

                                        2.  Sending it out

                                        3. Getting Feedback

                                  F. Running the Meeting (as Facilitator)

                                        1. The Beginning

                                        2.  The Body

                                        3.  The Conclusion

                                        4.  Minutes

                                G. The Role of the Facilitator

                                         1. Getting the right People

                                         2. Communication

                                         3. Establish Metrics

                                         4. Negotiate

                                         5. The Survival Guide

                                  H. Other Roles

                                          1. Responsibilities to the Project

                                          2. Responsibilities to the Group

                                          3. Expectations

                                 I.  The Close

                                          1. Conclusion

                                          2. Measurement Criteria

                                          3. Survey on Effectiveness

                                          4. Evaluate Criteria

                                          5. Lessoned Learn

                                          6. Building Lessons Learned into the Next Meeting

                                          7. When to End

          VIII.  Additional Data Gathering Techniques

                          A. What they are,

                                    How to do them,

                                          When to use them

                           B. Observation

                                    1. Process vs. Information

                                    2. Success factors

                                    3. Risks

                                    4. The Process

                           C. Written Questionnaires

                                    (and Why most fail)

                                    1. Making it work

                           D. Content Analysis - Documentation Review

                                    (Great starting point, if something exists!)

                                    1. What to look for

                                    2. Pitfalls and Dangers

                           E. Exercises and Samples of Each

          IX. Conclusion

                           A. Review Major Topics

                           B. Job-Aids for Use

                           C. Participants Critique the Class

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