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What questions to ask during requirement elicitation

To gather the requirements of a projects we need to prepare a questionnaire first. The questions framed should be connected to the objective of the project. It may be a business objective or a technical objective. The answers to the questions will give a clear idea about the expectations of the stakeholders and gives a pathway to proceed the project.

Since this is the first step of the project more time is to spent in collecting the requirements. Each question framed should be clear and precise and should bring out the actual expectation of the stakeholder. The success of the project mainly depends of the requirement gathering. And this requirement gathering could be done only by way to asking questions to stakeholders by using any one of the elicitation techniques like Brain storming, JAD, interviews, observations, prototyping, workshops, focus groups etc.

The questions will be mainly based on how, where, when, who, what and why.

How Questions:

  • How is the project be useful?
  • How could the business needs be satisfied with this project?
  • How could we plan something differently on the project?
  • How do we know that we have completed the task?

Where Questions:

  • Where is the project going to be developed?
  • Where would this project be used?
  • Where shall we deploy the project?
  • Where shall we see the difference in results?

When Questions:

  • When will the the project will be used in live?
  • When do the stakeholders need updates on the projects?
  • When shall we commence the project?

Who Questions:

  • Who will use this project?
  • Who will give the project inputs?
  • Who will be accept the project outputs?
  • Who should I contact for any details during the project?

What Questions:

  • What are all the requirements of the project?
  • What is the need of the project?
  • What is expected from the project?
  • What is the next phase to be undergone?
  • What are the policies to be followed?
  • What are all the terms and conditions to be followed?
  • What is the time expected to complete?
  • What is the budget allotted?

Why Questions:

  • Why is this particular project choosen?
  • Why do we need this project?

The above questions are to be asked to the stakeholders in either of the elicitation techniques mentioned above. This conversation can be formal of informal. It can be through direct questions or indirect questions that be through passive observation. A general informal talk is to be made with the stakeholders to give them time and open up freely to converse with the Business Analyst. Once they feel free, the questions can be put forth in an informal way rather than a formal one. Based on the discussion, all the data gathered to be documented through mail as minutes of meeting. The data gathered will be the requirements. The requirements should be grouped or listed one by one and needs to be prioritized. Only when the requirement gathering part is done correctly the whole project will go smoothly as scheduled. Once the requirements are prioritized and confirmed by the stakeholders, the project can be taken to the next level.

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