Monday, December 11, 2017

What and How of Requirement Gathering - Part 2

In continuation to my previous post, I’ll add some more techniques which are popularly used for information gathering.

Interviewing: While on one hand shadowing provides an effective means to discover what is currently being done in the business, but on the other hand it does not provide all the necessary information. Another flaw of shadowing would be, it is not suitable for getting information about long-term activities that extent weeks or months along with the processes that requires very less or no human intervention. Hence, we can look for other techniques like interviewing.

Interviewing someone is the one-on-one meeting between project team and the user.
Here quality of information totally depends upon interviewee and the interviewer. The interviewer can ask a wide range of questions as compared to shadowing mechanism. These questions can be from basic information to difficulties to limitations of the system. During the interview process, the interviewee can give some ideas to improvise the solution, but one should avoid assuming that those ideas are the correct solution.

The success of this technique totally depends on how the questions are structured or framed? The interviewer should be in a position to get more and more questions out of the answers given by the interviewee. One should always avoid asking misleading questions.
Few of the standard questions that can be asked during this process can be:
  • Is there any documentation available to help you in performing your job?
  • Is there any third party, that affect your work – i.e. support specialists, external suppliers/system, etc.?
  • Does any business policy hinder you in performing your job?
  • Do you need any assistance or help when you work remotely? If yes, then what?

Surveys: Surveys are the other means of gathering information. It consists of a collection of questions. A very good example of surveys is the customer feedback form.
One of the best parts of surveys is that, they keep the identity of the user hidden as they can be given anonymously, which in turn promoted confidentiality.  Such kind of information gathering technique is useful when one is more concerned about the responses rather than which individual has responded.
The most difficult part of surveys is its preparation. Everyone cannot come up with surveys as is requires a trained professional for choosing questions and then analyzing the responses.
Note: Surveys can be affected by user attitude or mood :(
Few are the common examples of information that can be collected via surveys:
  • Organizational structure
  • Policies
  • Training material and instructor feedback
  • Customer satisfaction surveys, etc.
Hope you got an idea about interviewing and surveying technique and when to use what. In my next blog post, I’ll continue to write about few more techniques.
Till then keep reading.

ReferencesMSDNCDEBH Project Management

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