Tip: Follow your heart
Pledge of any successful final product is a complete and clear list of customer’s requirements. According to these requirements, the system is further designed. This applies to all types of information systems, whether it is a website, mobile application or anything else.
There are many methodologies for collecting requirements, but the first step is revealing who are interested in the future system. After that you can do the main part. It is necessary to understand which methodology is most suitable for your project. Let’s consider the basics.
An Interview …
is a direct communication with project stakeholders who will use it’s final version.
The interview is the most frequently used way to collect the requirements to a the project. It is familiar to anyone who has faced with the task to understand what does the client really need. This method is basically used to obtain information on a specific topic or to clarify certain points.
- Find out which tasks should the software get on with;
- Discuss user’s interaction with the system;
- Discuss how the system should react on errors;
- Observe the interviewee’s emotions and reactions, and change approach, if it is necessary;
- Record the information received in the interview.
- Allows you to establish personal contact;
- You can ask questions in any order and clarify any questions at once.
- It takes a lot of time and efforts;
- If there are several stakeholders, comparing the answers to the same questions is an additional complication;
- The person who will conduct the interview must have all the necessary skills, otherwise this will not lead to the desired result.
is a list with questions for interested persons, which may contain questions with answers options or questions with field for text.
This approach is used when it is necessary to confirm previously known requirements or to make them more detailed. It is convenient when you need to interview a lot of people.
- Formulate questions so that there is an unambiguous answer;
- Recognize that this method is not suitable for detecting implicit requirements and does not allow you to find out everything you need.
- High speed of obtaining the result;
- Allows to make statistics, when you get answers from group of people.
- It is impossible to include all questions in the questionnaire;
- You can’t identify implicit requirements.
is the process of giving the user a simplified working model of the product, to find out their opinion.
Developers use the prototyping in several situations. As for real estate projects, virtual or real prototype is necessary to find out whether the development have gone the wrong way. In digital projects, simplified prototype will allow both developers and customers to understand how much time and money will take the whole project.
- Implement any part of the system;
- Insert the main functionality to show basic features, that will be released.
- The opportunity to try the project on the really first steps of development.
- Allows you to create exact requirements for the product quickly.
- The exact result is still hidden from the customer;
- Analysts do not take part in this work.
is when you discuss the project’s requirements and propose ideas as a part of group.
Brain storm helps us when we need to obtain the requirements related to new or poorly studied business lines of the customer’s organization or new features of the product.
- Write down the most interesting ideas you heard;
- Make combinations of ideas to create the better one;
- Do not criticize and do not make boundaries for the proposed ideas;
- Analyze everything as soon as the brainstorm session finished.
- A lot of non-standard solutions are generated;
- There is an opportunity to develop each other’s ideas.
- Participants need to be motivated;
- Difficult to apply to distributed commands.
Analysis of the documentation …
is the study of the possible regulatory framework and other documents, which can help in further work with project.
This technique of collecting requirements is applicable when there is documentation that can provide the necessary information. It should be noted that the allocated requirements are subject to further analysis and detailing.
- Explore the organization’s existing systems;
- Quick access to the information.
- In many companies only basic documents exist. So, we cannot draw any conclusions on their basis.
Combining different techniques will help you to get most of the process of collecting requirements.
It is important to answer two questions while collecting the requirements:
- WHAT the system should be able to do?
- HOW it should work?
It is even more important to always remember that when collecting the information carefully you minimize risks and allow fulfilling the customer’s desire in the best possible way. That’s how the successful developers act to make the best of their’s projects!