All of us must have heard this proverb "A stitch in time saves nine" umpteen number of times in our lives. However, when it comes to elicitation, we tend to forget the same.
Elicitation is possibly the most important job we business analysts do. I am surprised that many of us understand only a few facets of elicitation such as requirements gathering and recording.
Elicitation is much more than requirements gathering and recording. A good elicitation activity can significantly reduce the effort in changes in requirements and subsequent changes to design, construction, and testing activities.
Here is an attempt to make our elicitation exercises more effective.
1. Gather requirements:
Gather requirements from various sources, the primary one being from stakeholders. Requirements can also be from existing system documentation, competitor system documentation, or from existing system interfaces.
2. Record requirements:
Gathered requirements must be recorded for future use.
3. Tracing requirements:
Guard against scope creep while eliciting requirements.
4. Validate requirements:
Validate requirements by tracing requirements back to the business goals/objectives. Also, check if requirements provide suitable value for the cost of development and cost of maintenance.
5. Analyze requirements:
Analyze requirements to ensure you have received complete requirements and exceptions are covered.
6. Capture attributes:
Elicit, and capture requirements attribute during elicitation. Requirement attributes help in managing requirements life cycle.