This quick-start course gives you enough tools and techniques to write accurate and unambiguous requirements — in one day.
How do we do this in just one day? By looking at what is needed to get started, eliminating the unnecessary theory and niceties, and giving you the essential core of the subject.
This course is ideal for smaller projects and smaller companies, and those who want to know something about requirements before investing in a full-blown requirements process. It is a practical entry point to the Volere requirements techniques.
- An introduction to requirements
- A starting point for the popular Volere requirements techniques
- Understand the components of requirements
- Define the roles and perspectives required for requirements analysis
- Define the scope of the requirements effort
- Understand how data defines the processes and the requirements
- Writing functional and non-functional requirements
- Understand how the requirements activity fits into your work
The teaching sections are each followed by a workshop to allow you to practice a new skill. At the conclusion of the workshop session the instructor will discuss or demonstrate how this skill can be applied in participants’ workplaces
1. Components of Requirements
Objective: To understand what is meant by the terms ‘Business Analysis’ and ‘Requirements’, and to set the scope of the seminar.
- A simplified three-stage model to explain how the main activities of requirements gathering work together. The model presents Business Analysis, Discovering Atomic Requirements, and Building the Solution. The inputs and output from these activities relate to the deliverables covered in this seminar: Scope, Stakeholders, Goals, Functional Requirements, Non-Functional Requirements, Constraints
- The roles and perspectives needed for the task of requirements analysis
2. Setting the Scope
Objective: To be able to draw a context diagram to identify the scope of the work to be studied, and thus the scope of the requirements effort.
- The Scope-Stakeholders-Goals trinity
- How to draw a context diagram
- Why you need to have one
Workshop: Draw a context diagram for the case study. The review of this workshop will look at your diagram, offer constructive advice, and show how you can use this with your own requirements work.
The review will also present the Volere nine-point checklist.
3. Exploring the Problem
Objective: To be able to define the input and output data that is relevant to the requirements scope.
- Using the Context diagram to explore the details
- Data analysis of inputs and outputs
- Data dictionary levels and notation
- How to use data definitions to determine the functional requirements
Workshop: Define the data content of inputs & outputs for the case study. The review will look at the definitions you and others have written. It will also look at how to define the input and output data for different participant’s work.
4. Writing the Functional Requirements
Objective: To be able to write the atomic functional requirements relevant to the defined inputs and outputs.
- The main components of an atomic requirement: Description, Rationale, Originator.
- How to write correct atomic requirements
- How to derive the functional requirements from the data content definitions of the inputs and the outputs.
Workshop: Write functional requirements for case study data definitions that were written in the previous workshop. The review looks at the requirements you have written. It will also take up the ideas of atomic detail and fit criteria.
5. Non-Functional Requirements
Objective: To understand how to derive the non-functional requirements that are appropriate for the functional requirements.
- A checklist of non-functional requirements.
- Interactive demonstration and definition of the non-functional requirements for the case study
A chalk talk and Q&A session on the non-functional requirements most likely to be used for your own work.
6. Application in your work
Objective: to connect the day’s teaching to the attendee’s workplace environment.
- The concept of Trawling for the requirements relevant to defined scope
- A summary of trawling techniques
- The power of the “Why?” question
- A revisit to the summary process model
Q&A and Chalk talk: how the requirements processes vary depending on who does what, and how iterative your development process is. The talk also covers how you can apply these requirements techniques in your own environment.
Andrew Kendall is a senior business analyst and certified Volere consultant with over 10 years experience of working with Volere. Having worked both in Australia and Europe, his clients include Insurance Australia Group, Marsh & McLennan, Lloyds of London, Barclays and Lloyds TSB. He brings a pragmatic, results-focussed outcome to project work. Andrew was praised by project partners at IBM for being able to take a limited brief and turn out high quality results.
Andrew’s project experience using Volere has been on a variety of applications including producing specifications for a Pan European Client portal, and developing concepts used in financial crime and fraud management tools. Andrew has also worked extensively on eBusiness applications within the sector and brings with him a wealth of knowledge ranging from large Internet banking and insurance programmes to smaller localised projects. Andrew has shown a keen interest in the people side of requirements management. He wrote his first article entitled ‘The (Proto) type of thinking at IAG’ for Volere.co.uk in 2004, which discussed the project mindset and the use of prototyping in requirements and design.
Andrew holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Technology, Sydney, (UTS) with a major in strategic information technology. He also holds a Diploma in Marketing Management. He is a member of the UTS Alumni and a member of the Australian Institute of Management.
Who is This For?
Volere Express is for business analysts starting their careers, and companies who want to find out more about how they should be doing requirements. The course does not presuppose any formal qualifications, or very much experience. Business analysts from both the IT and business sides will find material here that is helpful to their everyday work. You would also attend if your job title is systems analyst, project manager, product manager, or have responsibilities for delivering correct and workable systems.
Handouts and Materials
Attendees receive copies of the instructor’s slides. These are used as the course progresses for taking additional notes and explanations. You also receive:
- Volere 9-point checklist. This is used to kick-start requirements projects and gives you the foundation of your own requirements capture.
- Snow Cards as a sample of the structure of an atomic requirement.
- Completed copy of Library Loans Requirements Specification. This is a sample specification used for example purposes.
- Additional contact and follow-up information for help later with your requirements projects.