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Topics: Applications Delivery, IT Project Management, PMI Standards
Efficient requirements elicitation

Hi everyone, does anyone have some cases I can quote to know if it is more effective to do requirements elicitation colaborating between BA Analyst and IT Analyst than working by themselves?
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To clarify, it will be helpful to understand the following:
Does the elicitation exercise include collaboration with the customer/business group?
Can you define what the IT Analyst role is? Is it like a Technical lead role?
Is the Business Analyst in IT, or on the business side?

Hi Andrew, those project are focused on process improvement they always include collaboration with business group.
An IT Analyst is a developer, the business analyst is on the business side, but as a process designer.
thanks a lot.

Hi Catalina - I don't think you need cases to support your position; try some simple math.

Since the BA and IT Analysts will eventually have to collaborate their findings anyway, you are just moving the timetable for when this occurs earlier in the process. Beyond the common sense logic of aligning IT and and the business from the start, there is plenty of literature on the benefits early and frequent collaboration across a number of disciplines.

That said, I have seen early involvement by IT have a chilling and detrimental effect on requirements by limiting discussion, sometimes rejecting legitimate business needs so a solution can fit within their current frame of reference.

Thank you Chris for this tidbit ....
"That said, I have seen early involvement by IT have a chilling and detrimental effect on requirements by limiting discussion, sometimes rejecting legitimate business needs so a solution can fit within their current frame of reference."

This is so ABSOLUTELY spot on. When providing BA efforts, working with the Business, I did not want to have the initial meeting with any members of my technical team for this exact reason. I make it an explicit point to tell my customers to focus on their needs, their ideal target state, and not to worry about technology or solutions - that is our job. If we, as IT, have a challenge, we will address it, and provide viable solutions. That is another reason why engagement with Enterprise Architecture is so important - b/c in a large corporation, there may be capabilities you are unaware of. At maybe, its a case for a 'buy' decision.

Apologize for the tangent, but its an important piece of information.

There are two types of requirements to take into account: product requirements and project requirements. Project requirements are defined from product requirements. Business Analyst is accountable for product requirements. Project Manager is accountable for project requirements. When you include each role in the process to get requirement will depend on your solution life cycle. Before a project exists there are activities regarding to create a business case or something you use to present to prople that will decide to invest on the project or not. In the process to create the business case you have to include some people from multiple roles. For example, somebody that has knowledge about project management while she/he would not be the assigned project manager in the future. The same for each layer inside the enteprise architecture you need to define the problem and define the possible solution. Perhaps you wlll need people that belongs to business, application, technology, secutiry, information enterprise architecture layers.

What does your sponsor what to see happen? I've seen issues with leaving key members out and including them but it's your project so manage it aligned with what you sponsor wants/approves. IMHO collaborate but make sure your roles are clear in the elicitation. It might be helpful for the IT Analyst to hear first hand some of the business challenges and requirements but they should withhold discussing solutions. You want to draw out the clear business requirements from your key business groups in your organization. It's also good for your business stakeholders to meet the IT Analyst and start forming these relationships.

Thanks for your comments! Based on your oppinions as experts, my experience and some literature, collaboration is very valuable when gathering requirements, some project roles have different point of view that can be very important to include early in the project.

I am searching for some numbers or explicit cases that can sustain this recommendation, in order to present to people who believes that working separately is a more efficient way to do this.

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