Good Note Taking Means More Efficient Requirements Elicitation

The discussion of requirements elicitation tools and techniques rarely seems to include a discussion of the best way to document your findings.

Lifehack has written an insightful post on How to Take Notes like Thomas Edison.

Thomas Edison’s diary contains five million pages and is maintained as an important part of the United States historical record. Two of the criteria for Edison’s record system are crucial to the Business Analyst:

Item #3 -The Records must be Rearward-looking. Basically, you should always keep requirements traceability in mind as you take notes.

Item #4 – The System must be Searchable. You need to be able to retrieve the information you need quickly. This means you should avoid audio taping and video taping as means of recording your findings. The time it will take you to review the tapes is a huge waste of time.

I recommend the software Evernote for your searchable note-taking needs. It allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

If you’re a die-hard handwritten note taking business analyst, you may want to read Jonathan Babcock’s Business Analysis blog post on The Cornell Method of Note-taking.

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