There is no more critical function in the management of successful projects than identifying a clear project scope, which includes identifying the requirements of the product the project will create. Unfortunately, identifying those requirements is difficult under even the best circumstances. Often, requirements are poorly understood even by business users of the systems or products to be created by the project and by the project designers and developers. Users often have a difficult time articulating requirements, and, frequently, the requirements will need to be changed during the course of the project. Those who develop the product of the project may also bring their own biases to product design, which may further complicate the ability of the project to produce deliverables that meet user needs.
A critical role in requirements elicitation and management is played by the business analyst. Business analysts serve as the link between the business interests served by the project and the technology that will be employed to deliver the functionality required by it. They are responsible for translating business needs into language that systems analysts can turn into a solution, for framing the problem and identifying the most appropriate solution. They keep the project focused on the needs for which it was initiated. They are often charged with gathering, documenting, and testing requirements, especially in software development and implementation projects.
The goal of this workshop is to enhance the skills of those engaged in requirements elicitation and management and to increase the capability of an organization to deliver products and services that meet user and stakeholder needs. It provides a focused overview of both the “hard” and “soft” skills necessary for business analysis and an introduction to the processes included in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®) from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA™) requirements cycle.
This workshop is compliant with the standards for business analysis and requirements definition, the BABOK®, Version 1.6, which has been prepared by the IIBA™.
Requirements planning is an often-overlooked process but one that is critical to the success of the requirements cycle. Requirements planning identifies how the business analyst will elicit, document, analyze, communicate, track, validate, and verify project requirements. Without agreement on a requirements plan, the business analyst cannot be certain that stakeholders agree with the scope of the effort and the methods to be employed.
Identifying project requirements is difficult under even the best circumstances. Often, requirements are poorly understood even by business users of the systems or products to be created by the project and by the project designers and developers. Users often have a difficult time articulating requirements, and, frequently, the requirements will need to be changed during the course of the project. Those who develop the product of the project may also bring their own biases to product design, which may further complicate the ability of the project to produce deliverables that meet user needs.
This two-day workshop introduces participants to two of the critical components of the requirements cycle established by the IIBA™ — requirements planning and requirements elicitation
The goal of this workshop is to enhance the skills of those engaged in requirements elicitation and management and to increase the capability of an organization to deliver products and services that meet user and stakeholder needs. It provides a focused overview of both the “hard” and “soft” skills necessary for business analysis and an introduction to the processes included in the BABOK® (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®) requirements cycle.
Fortunately, a standard for requirements management has been promulgated and is continuing to be refined. That standard is detailed in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, the BABOK®, which has been crafted by the International Association of Business Analysts.
This workshop, which can be delivered in a one-day overview or a two-day or three-day more-detailed format, is designed to provide a set of tools for IT project managers or those engaged in the requirements process that will allow them to deliver more successful projects. It provides techniques for planning the requirements effort, eliciting user and supplementary requirements from stakeholders, analyzing requirements for accuracy and completeness, and ensuring that the solution contains the expected requirements. It addresses the “hard skills” of requirements management and the “soft skills” that are necessary for managing the extensive conflict implicit in requirements elicitation and management and the expectations of stakeholders.
The workshop can also provide frameworks for building or improving organizational requirements management processes.
The objectives of the workshop are to introduce skills, concepts and strategies to:
• Introduce participants to the roles and responsibilities of business analysts with a focus on project requirements definition
• Provide training that is consistent with the BABOK®
• Build the capabilities of participants so that they can successfully develop and manage project requirements and be a productive and contributing member of project teams
• Engage participants in interactive exercises designed to build their skills and confidence
• Familiarize participants with best practices in business analysis and requirements definition
• Provide a base of knowledge for additional business analysis learning, either self-directed or otherwise
The following individuals would benefit from participating in this workshop:
· Project managers and senior managers
· Business analysts
· Project stakeholders concerned with requirements management
· Those who aspire to become project managers or business analysts
· Those engaged in improving the delivery of products and services that meet user needs
• Module 1: Introduction to the workshop
This module introduces the subject, describes the course layout, and allows participants to get to know one another.
• Module 2: The IIBA™ and the role of the business analyst
This module describes the emergence of the IIBA™ and its role in professionalizing the profession and describes the appropriate role for business analysts in critical projects.
• Module 3: The definition of requirements and the challenges of requirements management
This module describes the technical and non-technical challenges of identifying and managing requirements and describes the elements of “good” requirements. It also identifies the differences between business and system requirements and engages participants in requirements definition exercises.
• Module 4: The link between requirements definition and management and project management
Because business analysts work within the framework of a project and because they manage a project themselves--the elicitation and management of requirements—this module introduces participants to the critical processes of project management with a focus on project initiation, project scope definition, and project risk management.
• Module 5: Conflict management for business analysts
This module describes old and new models of conflict management and the role that conflict plays in requirements processes. A model for effective conflict resolution is introduced—the principled negotiations model—and participants are provided an opportunity to deploy that model.
• Module 6: Creative communications for business analysts
This module describes the critical role of communications throughout the requirements process. It examines techniques for effective listening, making presentations and managing meetings. It also explores three new strategies for competing for the attention of stakeholders—crafting “sticky” messages, changing minds, and making use of informal communication networks. Participants are provided the opportunity to use the new skills they have learned.
• Module 7: The requirements cycle
This module presents the IIBA®’s requirements cycle and the major activities the business analyst engages in for each of the six processes in that cycle.
• Module 8: Enterprise analysis
This module describes the activities engaged in by business analysts to create and manage the business architecture of the enterprise to include project prioritization, feasibility studies, the preparation of business cases, and process improvement.
• Module 9: Requirements planning and management
This module describes the activities necessary for the business analyst to plan for and deploy an effective requirements elicitation and management process. Participants are challenged to create a requirements plan.
• Module 10: Requirements elicitation
This module describes the challenges and purposes of requirements elicitation and presents the major requirements elicitation methods. Participants are provided the opportunity to deploy several of those methods.
• Module 11: Requirements analysis and documentation
In this module, participants are provided an overview of the role of requirements documentation and analysis, and the three major types of analytic methods are described.
• Module 12: Data and behavior models
In this module, participants are given an overview of the seven data and behavior models presented by the IIBA, including business rules, class diagrams, and entity relationship diagrams, and are given the opportunity for hands-on application.
• Module 13: Process flow models
In this module, participants are given an overview of the seven process flow models presented by the IIBA, including data flow diagrams, activity flow diagrams, state diagrams, and flowcharts, and given an opportunity for hands-on application.
• Module 14: Usage models
In this module, participants are given an overview of the seven usage models, including use cases, use case diagrams, and prototypes, and given the opportunity for hands-on application.
• Module 15: Requirements communication
In this module, participants are shown the importance of effective communications within the requirements cycle and introduced to the challenge of selecting, preparing, and presenting the requirements package to stakeholders.
• Module 16: Solution assessment and verification
In this module, participants will explore the roles of the business analyst in ensuring that delivered products and services meet the defined requirements, tracing requirements to functions and tests, and interacting with users to make implementation as smooth as possible.
• Module 17: Importance and challenges of user acceptance testing
In this module, participants will be given an introduction to the importance and challenges of good user acceptance testing.
• Module 18: Workshop wrap-up
This module wraps up the workshop, gives participants a chance to ask remaining questions, and allows them to evaluate the workshop.