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Elicitation Techniques

An elicitation technique is collection of data which is used in counselling, education, knowlege engineering, management, philospht, linguistics psychology to gather information from people in a written format. The person who gathers the info would be called as Elicitor or Analyst. This technique includes observations, interviews, analysis.

Methods of elicitation technique :
Brain Storming
Document Analysis
Focus Groups
Interface Analysis.
Exploratory Prototypes

Brain Storming :
Gathering stakeholders for brainstorming is “to produce numerous new ideas, and to derive from them themes for further analysis. A analyst should try to secure a representative from each participating stakeholder group in the brainstorming session. If analyst serves as facilitator of a brainstorming session, they must ensure that while participants feel free to propose new ideas and solutions, they remain focused on the business need. All information, solution and ideas must be recorded.

Document analysis :
This documents are user for gathering, reviewing all existing documentation, which might include, “business plans and goals, market case studies, contracts, requests for proposal, statements of work, memos, existing guidelines, procedures, training guides, comparative product reviews, problem reports, suggestions given by customers and existing system specifications, among others. This elicitation type is useful when the goal is to update an existing system or understanding of an existing system which will enhance a new system. However, document analysis alone is enough to extract all of the requirements for any given project.

Focus Group :
This groups consist of a group of pre-qualified stakeholders who gather to offer input on the business need at hand and its potential solutions. This groups are specifically helpful when key stakeholders are not specific or unable to imagine the goal. Other vocal stakeholders may help them think through and articulate the solutions. Focus groups has a way way for time-pressed analysts to get a lot of information at once.

Interface Analysis :
An interface analysis is to describe the purpose of each interface involved and elicit high-level details about it, including outlining its content. This type of elicitation is essential for software solutions, which involve applications interacting with one another and/or users interacting with applications. interface analysis can also be useful for non-software solutions also.

Interviews :
One-on-one interviews are among the most popular types of requirements elicitation, This gives an analyst the opportunity to discuss in-depth a stakeholder’s thoughts and get their perspective on the business need and the feasibility of potential solutions. An Analyst can choose pre-defined (structured) or free flow (unstructured, conversation type). Analyst must fully understand the business needs in order to conduct a successful interview. Analyst can share the notes with interviewee later to ensure no that whatever is documented is correct.

Observation (job shadowing) :
Observation is helpful when considering a project that will change or enhance current processes.
Types of observations – passive observation and active observation
Passive Observation – Analyst watching someone working and does not interrupt or engage the worker in any way.
Active Observation – Analyst can ask queries through out the process to assure what they understand is correct about the process

Prototyping :
This technique is very valuable for stakeholders such as business owners and end users who may not understand all of the technical aspects of requirements, but will better relate to a visual representation of the end product. Prototype may be an Power point presentation, interactive screen, navigation flow (visio diagrams). A detailed prototype may be done once business requirements have been identified.

Requirements workshops :
This workshop involves gathering a previously identified stakeholders for a defined amount of time in order to elicit, refine, and/or edit requirements. To be successful, requirements workshops must include a recorder to record participants and a facilitator to direct the discussion. Participants may also brainstorm together and listen to each others input, can provide immediate feedback and refinements to identified business needs, which can ensure a fast, effective elicitation of requirements.

Survey/questionnaire :
surveys are useful for quickly gathering information and data from a large group of participants. readily and free online survey software is available, which are inexpensive way to gather objective input from customers or potential end users. a successful survey or questionnaire must have well-chosen participants. These kind of survey can be useful when people are large and issues addressed are clear for all concerns. Surveys can be kind of feedback, inputs depending upon the project needs. Analyst need to request participants politely to respond to survey with reasonable deadline.

About K.Venkat Shiv Kumar

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