Elicitation Techniques Quick Reference William Nazzaro Today will touch on: – Interface Analysis – Interviewing – Brainstorming – Focus Groups – Requirements Workshops
Advanced Strategies, Inc. www.advstr.com Resources – White Papers – Templates – Visio Stencils
Favorite Techniques Joint Development Approach JDA SM – Pronounced JAD Pains and Pleasures Brainstorming Data Flow Diagramming Candidate Solutions Focus Statements Turn Around Documents (TAD)
We Adapted to Suit Our Terrain Shorter work sessions No recording analyst – tape recorder for backup Too much information on some of the templates
Joint Development Approach - JDA SM Facilitated Approach to the Group Development of Work Products
Business Process Improvement Usually comes before a project is chartered BAs participate in the identification and clarification of a need After need has been clarified and appears viable, management commissions a formal project definition effort
Best Advice Do not lock into a technology solution until business requirements are fully understood.
Role of the Business Analyst Helpful if the BA has some degree of business knowledge – However, the analyst is not the subject matter expert (SME) Helpful if the analyst has some degree of technical knowledge – However, the analyst should not be intoxicated with technology
The BA Uses Analysis Skills to: Use information from a variety of sources Sort through chaos and ambiguity Break the complex to atomic parts Craft statements of fact Represent facts in a structured instrument Identify additional information needed
The role of a Process Analyst is to study the business, then discover and document relevant processing requirements.
Key Tenets: Users’ expertise lies in doing the business, not in translating their business to system requirements. We can’t expect the users to come to us, we must go to them and speak their language when we get there. Maximize the value of the users’ time.
BPI Project Definition This includes identification of – The project stakeholders – Intentions of conducting the project – Any constraints on the solution – Agreements on the project approach – Selection of project participants
Project Intentions Purposes or reasons the business would undertake the effort, and the business results that are expected from the effort. Effort contributions recognize that the project may not fully achieve the identified intentions, but clarify what we expect this project to do toward the intentions.
Project Intentions Example Expected Business Result “In order to enable the business to…” Effort Contribution “This project intends to …” Maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the check replacement process. Identify and eliminate non-value-added process steps Reduce cycle time Reduce staff time
Project Stakeholders Anyone who can impact or be impacted by the effort – Bureau of Accounting Operations – Department of Tax and Finance – Remittance Control/Cashiering Units – Banks – Payees
Focus Statement Describes what portion of the world should be examined and potentially included in the development of the solution Scope – where the process begins and ends and areas included or excluded from review
Focus Statement Breadth:Check Replacement Process From: Receipt of request for replacement (duplicate, triplicate) To: Check going to payee Including: Any replacement checks (once the check has left the check writing process) The following warrant checks: – A – General Checking Account (joint custody) – B – Payroll Checking Account (joint custody) – C – General Typed Payroll (joint custody) – M – Thruway (sole custody) – P – Comptroller’s Refund Account (sole custody) – R – Common Retirement Fund (joint custody) – W – Abandoned Property (sole custody) – Y – Manual General Checking Account (joint custody) Checks damaged by the post office or payee Notification to banks Excluding: Checks damaged by BITS during the check writing process (they have own process for reprinting )
Project Participants Who are the SMEs? Who should attend sessions and when? Rule of thumb 6-10 participants Ensure different perspectives
Plan the JDA Session(s) Participants: – Business Experts (SMEs) – Facilitating Analyst – Recording Analyst/Tape Recorder – Observers (possibly) Prepare an agenda
All Participants Share an interest in the area being modeled Are held accountable for the success of the project Are expected to participate
Room Comfortably accommodate the group Provide an atmosphere that encourages free flowing discussion Provide ample wall space for modeling instruments
Instruments Data Flow Diagram (Business Process Model) Business Process Model Text Focus Statement Design Considerations List (Candidate Solutions) Issues List/Side Items Pains and Pleasures List
Tools Static sheets and markers Tape Recorder Visio and Word (templates) Candy Dish
Hold Session Introductions/Clarification of Roles Review Project Intentions Review Stakeholders Review Focus Statement
Pains and Pleasures Brainstorm Pain – something that is currently causing frustration, lack of productivity, poor quality, etc. Pleasure – something that currently is working well. It would be great to continue it.
Prioritize Long Lists Categorize or group similar ideas Prioritize according to most desired benefits or most annoying issues Clarify expectations
Business Models Facilitate: Understanding that we hear the requirements and that we have documented them correctly Participation by subject matter experts (SMEs) Remembering and recalling key business decisions
Diagram As-Is Process Data Flow Diagram A network of processes connected by data paths
MODEL = Diagram + Text Show the main elements of the business aspects in the diagram and the details and characteristics in the text Write first, then erase Capture candidate solutions and issues as they arise
Process/Function Something that transforms input data to output data Active verb/object
Data Flow A conveyance of data from one process to another Noun with modifier
External Entity/Source or Sink An object (person, organization, system) that sits on the boundary of focus. They are of interest when they provide data (a “source”) or receive data (a “sink”). Noun or Verb/Object
Data Store A repository where data can be stored and later accessed. Could be a computer database, a spreadsheet, manual file, etc. Noun with modifier
Trigger An event or condition which causes a process to execute Phrase
As-Is Purchasing Process DFD Identify process steps 7 +/- 2 optimal (consolidate if necessary) Iterative process Numbered process steps Alphabetical data flows, etc.
Turn Around Document - TAD Who was there Work products, e.g., results of Pains & Pleasures, list of stakeholders, etc. Decisions made, action items, candidate solutions Next steps Circulate to attendees with DFD and text to ensure accuracy, completeness, understanding
Lessons Learned Use a tape recorder Limit the size of the group Bring a candy dish More than one “right” way to diagram a process
Why Data Flow Diagram? Easier to identify gaps Uncover business rules Alternate flows included in text Can develop additional models if needed Business Units like them and sometimes use them for other purposes
Analysis Phase May want to have a subset of team report back to the larger group As-Is Process is physical – what you see – current state Strip the process down to its essential model and rebuild during analysis
“Analysis is the study of a problem, prior to taking some action…” Tom DeMarco
Analysis VS Design Analysis: What? – Take a customer order. Design: How? – A salesperson takes the order online from a customer phone call.
Build Essential Model Pull the physical aspects Challenge/reevaluate policies Current Essential DFD – “perfect world” components of a system – those which have to exist for the system to accomplish its purpose.
Quick Quiz Facts of Life, Policy or Implementation? An employee can have only one phone.
Facts of Life, Policy or Implementation? Birds have feathers.
Facts of Life, Policy or Implementation? The computer program limits an employee to a maximum of 8 dependents.
Facts of Life, Policy or Implementation? A product is created by a manufacturer.
Facts of Life, Policy or Implementation? Time sheets are due by the first day of the week after payday.
Facts of Life, Policy or Implementation? A vendor must be paid.
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