How to Elicit, Capture or Gather Requirements Effectively

Effective Requirements Elicitation Techniques
Effective Requirements Elicitation Techniques

What is Requirements Elicitation?

Requirements elicitation is the process of identifying the sources of requirements for a new system and obtaining those requirements from those sources.

Potential sources of requirements include users, documents, regulators and even legacy software code.

Requirements elicitation is a crucial part of the Requirements Gathering, Documentation and Analysis Process.

It is a critical business activity that requires the focus of a skilled business analyst.

Regardless of the elicitation techniques you choose or how you implement those techniques, you need to do whatever it takes to understand the real needs of your customers.

Deciphering the Business Analyst Job Description

business analyst job description
decipher ba job descriptions

You can find out “what employers look for in a job candidate” by browsing business analyst job descriptions.

However, you will notice that some business analyst job descriptions are poorly written!

A weak business analyst job description does not provide enough information for you to compare your skill set against the requirements posted on the job posting.

A Well Written Business Analyst Job Description Is An Effective Hiring Tool!

Here is an example of a weak or ineffective business analyst job description:

Business Analysts Don’t Really “Gather” Requirements

Gathering Requirements
Gathering Requirements

It is common knowledge that the biggest reason for IT project failure is poor requirements. If the requirements that the developers are working from are wrong, incomplete or otherwise inadequate, that project is doomed to join the 70% of IT projects that fail every year.

So why not simply gather good (SMART) requirements? Ask any business analyst and they will tell you that the biggest problem they face is getting users to tell them what they really want out of a new system or process. Why? The reasons are varied. Sometimes it appears that users simply won’t communicate what they really want. Sometimes it appears that the business analyst is asking all the wrong questions. Sometimes it appears that the users change their minds all the time.