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What question to be asked during requirement elicitation?

Requirement elicitation for successful project completion is one of the primary needs of the client and person assigned to elicit the client need is a business analyst for a project. To elicit the particular requirement in a correct manner for proper requirement gathering is to use various elicitation techniques that are available.

Few well known elicitation techniques are brainstorming, document analysis, reverse engineering, prototyping, questionnaires, observations, interviews, focus groups, JAD sessions, workshops etc. These elicitation techniques help a business analyst to ask relevant questions based on the requirement and elicit the exact requirement/ need of a client. If the requirement is completely new a session called brainstorming could be arranged. It is a group activity of 8 to 10 people sit together and try to understand the requirement. The questions that could be asked during the session could be like what exactly the requirement is? What end result is expected? With whom could be the requirement well understood? What is the purpose of the requirement? With development of a requirement how many problems could be solved? Brainstorming sessions helps to understand any new/Unknown requirement in groups that help I giving better clarity.

Prototyping- One of the famous elicitation technique that is used by all business analysts to make understand the requirement clearly to all the stakeholders into a project that could be helpful for taking approvals and signoffs on gathered requirements. Based on this the relevant questions could be like based on the look and feel of the requirement, background, color theme regarding how the system behaves on user interactions different fields that are included and their validations.

Observation – This technique is used when the requirement is unclear to both the client and business analyst. In this technique things are observed and based on this relevant questions are asked. The process that is followed by the users/ labors is observed and based on the process the questions are asked. This helps to make analysis how the proposed system could be that could reduce the effort and bring comfort to the end users.

Focus Groups – This is yet another elicitation technique that is similar to brainstorming and that is carried out in group. In this there are subject matter experts those who have sent more than 15 years of their career into a particular domain. So based on this more questions could be asked about the technical aspects and the need how the requirement could be fulfilled with satisfactory results. In details knowledge could be achieved by asking in depth questions that could help understanding the requirement more easily. Question such as how the process flows, how the industry works could be asked, how the requirement could be broken down into bit and pieces to achieve the end result.

To elicit the requirement most common question that could be asked are listed down

1. How will you use the feature?

2. How this could meet the business needs?

3. How could we make a little change to modify the needs?

4. What are the current problems faced?

5. Who are the responsible stakeholders to gather the requirements and who will be facilitating UAT?

6. Why the project is initiated? With project initiation how the problems could be solved.

7. What are the current risks and dependencies involved?

8. Till what date the 1st release is expected for the project this will help out in planning the resources and budget.

9. Who will be giving the approvals for project in various stages?

10 What are the functional and non-functional requirements in the projects?

11. Project to be implemented using which SDLC model?

12. How to track the requirements and what communication channels to be established?

13. How the changes request to be handled, what platform to be established for their approvals? 

14. How will the project be maintained and supported after it is completed? To summarize the topic, asking relevant and correct questions to gather proper requirements is one of the most essential aspect on which entire project success is depended. Any mistake during this stage could entirely change the project scope affecting its budget and time of all the resources. When the project is initiated and after getting idea of high level understanding the most important step is to do an analysis of requirement elicitation for gathering requirements. Knowing the elicitation technique could help a business analyst to ask correct questions during requirement gathering phase that could ultimately help in projects successful completion.

About Viren Yashwant Basale

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