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Requirements Gathering: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Dr Eugene O’Loughlin Elicitation.

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Presentation on theme: "Requirements Gathering: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Dr Eugene O’Loughlin Elicitation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Requirements Gathering: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Dr Eugene O’Loughlin Elicitation

2 Agenda Perception Planning Common problems facing BA Project failures Poor requirements Methodology Overcome problems Lessons learned

3 Oops!

4 What does your Business Card say about you? Sorry! Perfect Results Every Time! I’m Imperfect! Business Analyst

5 Perception

6 What do you see in this picture?

7 Business Analysts are Organized People? Organized Methodical Planned

8 Dive in and get started

9 Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

10 The best or “alpha” project managers spend more time on every PM process group than their counterparts except for execution, as follows: Initiating: 2% vs. 1% Planning: 21% vs. 11% Executing: 69% vs. 82% Controlling: 5% vs. 4% Closing: 3% vs. 2%1* What the top 2% know that everyone else does not Andy Crowe, Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not, Velociteach Press (2006). 10 8 key areas were identified where alpha project managers shine: 1.Attitude and belief 2.Communication 3.Alignment with the organization 4.Approach and organization 5.Priority management skills 6.Issue Management 7.Relationships and conflict 8.Leadership

11 Competencies Paul, Yeates & Cadle (2010) p17

12 Six Common Problems Faced By A Business Analyst 1.Resistance in sharing information 2.Irregular attendance 3.Accountability for decisions 4.Resolving user conflicts 5.Real needs vs. perceived needs 6.Changing needs Source: BA TimesBA Times

13 The Top Challenges Facing Business Analysts Source: Business Improvement ArchitectsBusiness Improvement Architects

14 Project Failures Source: Survey (2011)

15 Federal Bureau of Investigation

16 US Census Bureau – Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA)

17 Swedish Navy

18 Why Projects Fail – Poor Requirements Most business requirements approaches fail on two dimensions 1.Lack of a true process orientation 2.Lack of understanding of the neuroscience involved in requirements definition Being asked what you want out of a system is like being asked what you want out of life! Where do you start? What are the parameters?

19 Impact of Poor Requirements If business analysts provide subpar requirements, it causes a wide range of negative consequences not only for the current project but for the business as a whole.

20 Methodologies

21 Business Analysis Body of Knowledge …BABOK Guide…should not be construed as a methodology for the performance of business analysis. (BABOK p6)

22 BABOK = Panacea?

23 BABOK – works “most of the time” Source: BABOK p1

24 Some Strategies (Austin, Runk, & Waters 2009)

25 Source:

26 Flaws

27 Five common errors in requirements analysis 1.Customers don't (really) know what they want 2.Requirements change during the course of the project 3.Customers have unreasonable timelines 4.Communication gaps exist between customers, engineers and project managers 5.The development team doesn't understand the politics of the customer's organization Source:

28 SAME O' SAME O'.… Every project is different, but… Same people Same Team Lead Same Project Manager Same agendas Same customs Same needs Negotiate – Polite – Change

29 Lessons Learned What works in Manufacturing will not work in Finance One-to-one interviews “brilliant”, especially if you want to know a process Workshops only work if you bring in people from all departments Use Visio for step-by-step walkthroughs Use templates Read legislation Get on with the Project Manager Know the issues, risks, and dependencies

30 Learning from our mistakes “The hardest mistakes to learn from are those that lack consequence.” Jasper Sole “No one is exempt from the rule that learning occurs through recognition of error.” Alexander Lowen

31 QQI Certificate in Business Analysis More information at:

32 My Book

33 Contact Me @eoloughlin

34 Questions/Comments

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