Requirements analysts often conduct joint seminars, simplifying the collection of information about requirements. This allows you to effectively establish links between product users and developers. The main task of the employee responsible for the event is to create conditions for the successful accomplishment of the task. It is he who plans the seminar, chooses the participants and ensures that the discussion is productive. If you are going to apply a new requirements elicitation technology, the person responsible for the first seminar should be a third-party employee – not a member of your team. In this case, the analyst will be able to fully focus on the discussion. Also, invite the secretary to record the ideas that arise during the negotiation process.
According to one information source, “The organization of any event is the art of managing people in the course of this process, which allows you to reach agreed decisions in an atmosphere of cooperation and trust, high-performance work environment and interest in the outcome of their work.” Seminars that simplify the requirements collection procedure are described in detail in Ellen Gottesdiener’s work “Requirements by Collaboration“. The author specifies the range of techniques used to facilitate seminars. Here are some of them.
Define the basic rules. Participants must agree on the basic rules of the seminars. For example, such as:
- start and finish the seminar in a timely manner;
- not to be late returning from breaks;
- not to hold several discussions at the same time;
- take care that everyone participates in the work;
- comment and criticize the decision, not the person.
Stick to the boundaries of the project. To make sure that the proposed user requirements do not go beyond the current boundaries of the project, use the scope and vision document.
Ascertain that during each seminar the level of generalization corresponds to the chosen goals. Periodically, participants can delve into discussions of non-essential details. This takes a lot of time, which at the initial stage of works should be spent on clarification of user requirements – the details will come later. The manager’s task is to return the participants to the discussion topic as necessary.
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Trap!! Avoid going into detail unless and until. Documenting the smallest details of what people already understand, you will not reduce the risks that remain due to the dilution of the requirements.
Users easily go on to discuss in what part of the report or dialog box the elements should be placed, even before the developers agree with the tasks.