As a Business Analyst, we use elicitation techniques to get more information form the client / stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations. By using elicitation techniques, we can gather and document the requirements.
A workshop is a more formal and highly structured meeting which comprises of minimum 6 users/stakeholders working together to identify the requirements. It is intended to be done in a definite duration and will be attended by carefully selected key stakeholders and SME’s. It is intended to prioritize, validate, discover and discuss the requirements. Workshops promote mutual understanding and strong communication between the stakeholders and the project team.
By conducting workshops, we can reduce product defects, scope creep, time and effort throughout the project life cycle. And we can deliver the requirements quickly.
We can combine workshops with Moscow technique – to prioritize, brainstorming – to discover, mockups – to validate and structured walkthrough – to review requirements.
- Prepare for the requirements workshop
- Identify and define the purpose of the workshop.
- Identify and invite all the key stakeholders and SME.
- Define workshop agenda and schedule the sessions
- Make arrangements for the workshop
- Send workshop material to the attendees before workshop and take pre-workshop interviews with them.
- Conduct/run the requirements workshop
- The facilitator will start the meeting by explaining the objectives, goals and agenda of the session.
- Ground rules will be set at the beginning.
- Facilitator will ensure all the stakeholders to participate and give their inputs.
- Facilitator should ensure that all the questions were asked and he should analyze the information provided by the stakeholders and can ask follow-up questions if necessary.
- Participants may be given requirements to identify, review and prioritize.
- Post requirements- workshop wrap-up done by the facilitator
- Post workshop, finish and send documentation to all the attendees. If there are any open action items recorded, follow them up.
These are a type of documents used to collect information or opinions from the users/stakeholders. The design and the type of questions used in the questionnaire are more important as it can influence the responses of the users.
We can send the questionnaires to hundreds of people and collect inputs from the users at very low cost (either web or offline). Those responses can be sent for further analysis if needed.
- Identify and define the purpose of the questionnaire
This will help us understand what kind questions need to be addressed to fulfill the objectives.
- Identify and determine the group of stakeholders
If we are sending to small group of people, we can sample everyone, but if we are focusing on large groups, we have to select few participants who will be the representatives of the users and can sample them.
- We can split the users/stakeholders into different categories
To fulfill the objectives of different modules we can have users of each module to respond on some specific questions.
- Identify and determine the tools to be used
There are different types of tool for conducting different types of surveys.
Ex: Web-based surveys, email surveys, paper-based surveys.
- Create a rough draft and check whether the responses will meet the objectives or not
This stage is very important since the design and the type of questions used in the questionnaire are more important as it can influence the responses of the users. Include instructions like how to finish the survey and whom they should contact if they have any questions. Ensure that the questions are precise and please avoid using jargon words.
- Test and revise the questionnaire
Conduct a mock exercise and observe the time-taken by the users, so that we can get to know the validations and time-taken to complete the survey.
- Send the questionnaire with a notification letter
Send the details like purpose, whether it will be confidential or not, deadline, how we will use the responses, etc.,
- Distribute the questionnaires – follow up with reminders.
- Free Format – the user can explain his response here.
- Fixed Format – the user has to select from predefined responses.