Today I read, “How digital will impact the next generation of in-store shopping.” It’s articles like this that make me miss working in #eCommerce and #Retail. Although I truly enjoy the #agile and #businessanalysis coaching & training I’m doing.
The blog referenced the change of marketing from “push” to “pull” tactics and it made me wonder…
Are BA’s conditioned to be in a “Push Requirements” mode or a “Pull Requirements” mode?
Sadly, I tend to think that many BAs just do the job they are told, take requirements at face value and operate in a “Push” mentality where stakeholders spout out directives for the solutions they want. Even worse, the BAs just write it down and “push” it along to the development team before turning their back and moving onto the next project.
“Pulling” requirements is a lot harder. You have to push for the ‘Why’ and understand the true need of the business. What problem are they trying to solve? Even more importantly, what problem can you solve that they don’t even realize they have?!? Figure out that, and you’re a super-star! The “pulling” can’t stop there though. Requirements are not one-sided. The IT stakeholders are equally as important.
So, here are three tips for operating in a “Pull Requirements” mode.
- Force Divergent Thinking: Pushing stakeholders, both business and IT, to look at the requirements from different angles and discuss options and variations then opens the door for a convergent conversation. While narrowing to a set of selected requirements and preferred solution you’ll uncover hidden priorities and objectives the stakeholders have and end with a more accurate set of requirements that meet the true business needs.
- Write Requirements from the Customer’s PoV: The system shall this, the system shall that doesn’t really mean much. Whether you’re in a waterfall or agile project methodology, try out User Stories. They convey the requirements from the customers point of view and force you to identify the benefit for developing the feature the customer is requesting.
- Create Requirements Visuals: Stakeholders rarely read lengthy requirements and you never want to create a situation where the way requirements are presented shut stakeholders down. When possible create visuals that represent the requirements. Its an ideal way to facilitate the conversation and collaboration needed in order to get to input and verification.