Describe in detail how you would apply the techniques.
Suppose that you are the analyst charged with developing a new system to help senior managers make better strategic decisions. What requirements‐gathering techniques will you use? Describe in detail how you would apply the techniques.
Write a 3-4-page APA formatted paper (including cover and references pages; double spaced throughout; third person)
Discuss the various requirements gathering techniques in general
Identify which technique you will use for this purpose and describe why it will be the best one for this purpose
Describe how this technique will be used for this purpose
Utilize your textbook and at least two other sources for this paper (they can be websites or secondary)
Example setup for paper:
Session 2 Exercises: Requirements Gathering Techniques
Intro to paper here. A new system will be developed to help senior managers make better strategic decisions. This paper will discuss the requirements-gathering technique used and how it will be applied.
Requirements Gathering Techniques
Begin discussing the various types of requirements gathering techniques.
Application of This Technique
Begin discussing which technique will be utilized and why/how it will be used to develop a system to help senior managers make better strategic decisions.
Always end a paper with a conclusion about what was discussed.
FIGURE 3-3 Sample requirements definition.
As shown in Figure 3‐3, requirements are typically identified by numbering. Assigning unique numbers enables each requirement to be tracked through the entire development process. For clarity, the requirements are typically grouped into functional and nonfunctional groupings. Then, within each of those groups, they are classified further by the type of requirement or by business area.
Sometimes, requirements are prioritized on the requirements definition statement. They can be ranked as having “high,” “medium,” or “low” importance in the new system, or they can be labeled with the version of the system that will address the requirement (e.g., release 1, release 2, release 3). This practice is particularly important with RAD methodologies that deliver requirements in batches by developing incremental versions of the system.
The most obvious purpose of the requirements definition is to provide a clear statement of what the new system should do in order to achieve the system vision described in the system request. The use cases, process models, and data models provide additional explanatory content in different formats. A critically important purpose of the requirements definition, however, is to define the scope of the system. The document describes to the analysts exactly what the final system needs to do. In addition, it serves to establish the users’ expectations for the system. If and when discrepancies or misunderstandings arise, the document serves as a resource for clarification.
Requirements Elicitation Techniques
An analyst is very much like a detective (and business users sometimes are like elusive suspects). He or she knows that there is a problem to be solved and therefore must look for clues that uncover the solution. Unfortunately, the clues are not always obvious (and often are missed), so the analyst needs to notice details, talk with witnesses, and follow leads, just as Sherlock Holmes would have done. The best analysts will thoroughly search for requirements using a variety of techniques and make sure that the current business processes and the needs for the new system are well understood before moving into design. You do not want to discover later that you have key requirements wrong—surprises like this late in the SDLC can cause all kinds of problems.
Requirements Elicitation in Practice
Before discussing the five requirements elicitation techniques in detail, a few practical tips are in order. First, the analyst should recognize that important side effects of the requirements definition process include building political support for the project and establishing trust and rapport between the project team and the ultimate users of the system. Every contact and interaction between the analyst and a potential business user or manager is an opportunity to generate interest, enthusiasm, and commitment to the project. Therefore, the analyst should be prepared to make good use of these opportunities as they arise during the requirements definition process.
Second, the analyst should carefully determine who is included in the requirements definition process. The choice to include (or exclude) someone is significant; involving someone in the process implies that the analyst views that person as an important resource and values his or her opinions. You must include all of the key stakeholders (the people who can affect the system or who will be affected by the system). This might include managers, employees, staff members, and even some customers and suppliers. Also, be sensitive to the fact that some people may have significant influence within the organization even if they do not rank high in the formal organizational hierarchy. If you do not involve a key person, that individual may feel slighted, causing problems during implementation (e.g., saying “I could have told them this might happen, but they didn’t ask me!”).
Finally, do everything possible to respect the time commitment that you are asking the participants to make. The best way to do this is to be fully prepared and to make good use of all the types of requirements elicitation techniques. Although, as we will see, interviewing is the most commonly used technique, other indirect methods may help the analyst develop a basic understanding of the business domain so that the direct techniques are more productive. In general, a useful strategy for the analyst to employ is to begin requirements gathering by interviewing senior managers to gain an understanding of the project and get the “big picture.” These preliminary interviews can then be followed by document analysis and, possibly, observation of business processes to learn more about the business domain, the vocabulary, and the as‐is system. More interviews may then follow to collect the rest of the information needed to understand the as‐is system.
In our experience, identifying improvements is most commonly done through JAD sessions because these sessions enable the analysts, users, and other key stakeholders to work together and create a shared understanding of the possibilities for the to‐be system. Occasionally, these JAD sessions are followed by questionnaires sent to a much larger group of users or potential users to get a broad range of opinions. The concept for the to‐be system is frequently developed through interviews with senior managers, followed by JAD sessions with users of all levels, to make sure that the key requirements of the new system are well understood.