Apprentice Hoots: Mastering requirements gathering

Apprentice Hoots: Mastering requirements gathering

The definition of an apprentice is to provide support to skilled workers and learn the trade themselves. During the past six months, Coacto’s Salesforce apprentice, Charlotte has provided support across a number of projects and has been working on mastering her new found skills. Discover more about her progress in the latest Apprentice Hoots blog.

Mastering requirements gathering

Recently I was called upon to organise the requirements gathering for an individual prospect. Using the knowledge from the LDN Apprenticeship course modules, along with the guidance from Paul, I had great pleasure in putting theory I had learnt into action to actively practice requirements gathering. Requirements gathering is needed in order to define and manage the scope of a system implementation. When working with prospects, we need a clear set of requirements to follow, which are captured from a series of scoping meetings and workshops with appropriate stakeholders. This is done by completing the five following stages:

  1. Requirements Elicitation: The first step is to capture all the requirements that the potential customer would like in their entirety. In this stage, it is important to include every requirement that they can think of, as this may appear to be more important than initially thought of or needed alongside a similar requirement. 
  2. Requirements Analysis: After sourcing all of the requirements, we need to analyse and determine which ones are going to be delivered and which ones will be going onto the backlog (work or matters that need to be dealt with at a later stage). This often involves using a technique to categorise requirements like the MoSCoW technique to assign a priority to the requirements into the musts, coulds, shoulds and woulds. This then determines the phases the customer would like their new system to be delivered in as budget’s, timelines, resources etc. may not align with delivering every requirement that was documented in the elicitation. Therefore the first phase of musts and sometimes shoulds are then moved to the next stage, requirements validation.
  3. Requirements Validation: The validation stage is where the requirements undergo a formal sign off process with the stakeholders as to whether they agree with the documented requirements in a statement of work defining the scope and requirements. Below is an example of the scope and the requirements gathering completed on a particular prospect journey:
  1. Requirements Documentation: Afterwards we need to discover the finer details of all the requirements and document those that have been agreed for the implementation. This involves more discovery about the specifics of each requirement and may include meetings, workshop documents, observation notes and more.
  2. Requirements Management: A crucial stage that should not be missed is to make sure that we manage the requirements in terms of the scope, traceability and managing changes throughout the project. We need to ensure that the project stays within the budget and requirements that were given in the formal sign off and any changes must be managed through a change management process to ensure that any changes are properly considered, costed and any implications for the budget, timelines, scope, etc are documented as part of any agreed, or rejected change with due diligence and confirmation.

I’ve been delighted to be a part of the requirements gathering process for a detailed prospect project and have learnt so much in such a short space of time. I look forward to continuing to develop these skills on my next requirements gathering opportunity.

Owl see you later… 


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