Gathering Requirements Techniques - Be Flexible

Gathering Requirements Techniques - Be Flexible

Being flexible is an important skill to have when gathering requirements.


2 min read

No defined way to gather requirements

There is a good chance that no one at the company will tell you how to gather requirements. You have to figure it out yourself.

Why is that?

Most companies don't have a business analyst whose primary role is to gather requirements.

So if there are no business analysts, then who gathers the requirements?

Product Owners most likely will try to gather requirements while juggling a hundred other things to do.

But sometimes, it is left to the developers, especially if the product owner has too much on their plate, which happens to most product owners.

No worries. You don't have to be a business analyst to gather requirements. But if you are in a position with some sway, I would advocate having a business analyst full time to collect and refine requirements.

Be Flexible

There will be times when you set up an interview with a user, and when others find out, like your boss or colleague, they want to be in the meeting.

When you have too many people involved with gathering requirements, you may not be able to ask all the questions you want.

The user could come late or leave early for the requirements interview because they have more pressing things to do in their day job. Users are busy, so you have to have respect their time.

Be adaptable. Expect that you need to do follow-up interviews. After the meeting, ask the user if you could do a quick call or ask questions over email/chat. Chances are you have more questions for the users. Most users like to be involved, especially if their input is valued.

If users feel what they say may change the system for the better, the more likely they will want to partake in requirements sessions.

Trust me. You will get better at gathering requirements.

It sounds crazy when you have a day where you can't comprehend any users' jargon when they convey their requirements and needs. It may not feel like it. But you will get better at gathering requirements.

You will start to understand the business processes and requirements. Just remember to keep learning. If you look back after one year, you will be amazed at how much you comprehended.