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Elicitation tasks and techniques

Morgan T. LeeElicitation tasks and techniques are very important for a business analyst. Knowing the different tasks and techniques used can make the difference between a junior and a senior business analyst. Here you will find descriptions about many of the tasks, techniques, and outputs for requirements elicitation based on the BABOK.

Requirements Elicitation
Requirements are identified through the elicitation, analysis, verification, and validations activities. Elicitation means to draw forth or bring out or to call forth or draw out. Requirements should be complete, clear, correct, and consistent. Elicitation deliverables depends on the elicitation techniques used.

Task: Prepare for elicitation.
Purpose: ensure all needed resources are organized and scheduled for conducting the elicitation activities.
Output: Scheduled Resources: This includes the participants, the location in which the elicitation activity will occur, and any other resources that may be required.
Supporting Materials: Any materials required to help explain the techniques used or perform them.

Task: Conduct Elicitation Activity
Purpose: Meet with stakeholders to elicit information regarding their needs.
Output: Elicitation Results: May include documentation appropriate to the technique and capture the information provided by the stakeholder

Task: Document Elicitation Results
Purpose: Record the information provided by stakeholders for use in analysis
Output: Requirements [Stated]: Described from the perspective of the stakeholder. Stated requirements describe the stakeholder’s need from the stakeholder’s perspective.
Stakeholder Concerns: Includes issues identified by the stakeholder, risks, assumptions, constraints, and other relevant information.

Task: Confirm Elicitation Results
Purpose: Validate the stated requirements expressed by the stakeholder match the stakeholders’ understanding of the problem and the stakeholder’s needs.
Output: Requirements [Stated, Confirmed]: Identical to Requirements [Stated] for all practical purposes, including use as an input to other tasks.
Stakeholder Concerns [Confirmed]: Identical to Stakeholder Concerns for all practical purposes, including use as an input to other tasks.

Techniques used to help with elicitation
Brainstorming – A team activity that seeks to product a broad or diverse set of options through the rapid and uncritical generation of ideas.

Document Analysis – Review existing documentation – Document Analysis is a means to elicit requirements of an existing system by studying available documentation and identifying relevant information

Focus Groups – A focus group is a means to elicit ideas and attitudes about a specific product, service or opportunity in an interactive group environment. The participants share their impressions, preferences and needs, guided by a moderator.

Interface analysis – Used to identify interfaces between solutions and/or solution components and define requirements that describe how they will interact.

Interviews – an interview is a systematic approach designed to elicit information from a person or group of people in an informal or formal setting by talking to an interviewee, asking relevant questions and documenting the responses.

Observations – e.g. Job shadowing – Observation is a means of eliciting requirements by conducting an assessment of the stakeholder’s work environment. This technique is appropriate when documenting details about current processed or if the project is intended to enhance or change a current process.

Prototyping – Storyboarding, navigation flow, paper prototyping, screen flows – Prototyping details user interface requirements and integrates them with other requirements such as use cases, scenarios, data, and business rules. Stakeholders often find prototyping to be a concrete means of identifying, describing and validating their interface needs.

Requirements Workshop – Elicitation workshop, facilitated workshop – A requirements workshop is a structured way to capture requirements. A workshop may be used to scope, discover, define, prioritize and reach closure on requirements for the target system.
Well-run workshops are considered one of the most effective ways to deliver high quality requirements quickly. They can promote trust, mutual understanding, and strong communications among the project stakeholders and project team and produce deliverables that structure and guide future analysis.

Survey/Questionnaire – A survey is a means of eliciting information from many people, sometimes anonymously, in a relatively short period of time. A survey can collect information about customers, products, work practices and attitudes. A survey may also be referred to as a questionnaire.

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