Business Analysis Technique: Requirements Workshops

According to the BABOK® Guide, requirements workshops are one of the 16 required techniques in the fundamental knowledge base of an effective business analyst.   Why would this structured and facilitated information gathering technique be a required competency for a business analyst?  Let’s have a look.  

Requirements workshops are structured meetings where a selected group of stakeholders works together to define or refine a set of project requirements. During a requirements workshop, specific requirements may also be presented to make everyone familiar with the solution scope and current requirements.

Requirements workshops have some very specific goals.  They include scoping, discovering, defining, prioritizing, and reaching closure on the requirements that are being defined for the new solution.  Requirements workshops also seek to promote understanding, trust, and communication amongst the project stakeholders. Successful requirements workshops require you to carefully selecting the stakeholders and SMEs to attend this short, intensive meeting.

A requirements workshop works best when it is led by a trained facilitator and supported by a scribe.  That may be you, the business analyst, or it may be someone else on the project team.  Some organizations bring in external facilitators for meetings of this type to reduce any perceived or actual bias. The BABOK® Guide makes the facilitator responsible for:

  • Establishing a professional, objective tone for the meeting  
  • Introducing the meeting goals and agenda
  • Enforcing discipline, structure and ground rules during the meeting
  • Managing the meeting and keeping the team on track
  • Facilitating decision-making and building consensus
  • Ensuring that all stakeholders participate
  • Asking the right questions

Effective requirements workshop wrap-up includes following up on any action items and making sure that workshop attendees and the sponsor receive copies of the completed meeting documentation.

Well, that is our closer look at one of the 16 recommended techniques used by business analysts, requirements workshops.  I have found this technique to be of great help on many projects, particularly for requirements elicitation. Give a shout if you have another BABOK® technique you would like to explore in more detail!

Susan Weese

Business analysts are increasingly becoming the critical liaisons between business and solution development (oftentimes IT), so they must communicate and relate with equal effectiveness throughout all levels of an organization. Download this free White Paper to see which five common obstacles business analysts face and how to address them to ensure success.

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