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This programme is spread over 2 days, from 10h00 (but Suzanne will already be present from 9h30 to answer your questions) till 18h00, with a dinner around 13h00. The workshop will cover the following topics:
The key to a successful requirements process is knowing which requirements knowledge you need to discover and how the different types and levels of knowledge relate to each other. Light or agile processes are intended to give you fast results with the minimum of effort expended. However success is dependent on finding a solution to the right problem and that means somehow or other we need to get the right requirements. We are always searching for a balance between the knowledge we need to get and the time available to get it. Here we show you how to understand and quantify the different types of requirements knowledge. Then, taking your own critical success factors into account we look at ways of making your requirements more agile and more effective.
Requirements for Existing Systems
Changes or additions to an existing system have special requirements considerations. Here we look at a 5-step systemic approach for making changes to requirements for existing systems. We examine approaches for analysing new requirements and assessing the impact on other parts of an installed system. We use the requirements knowledge model as a way of guiding impact analysis. We also look at ways of communicating new requirements to the people who might be affected by them.
Inventing Better Products
An effective requirements process must include innovation if you are to produce a better product. Many of your stakeholders are not in a position to know all their requirements, nor can they imagine what is possible. We show you how to invent, and how to advance your company's work practices or position in the marketplace. We demonstrate creativity techniques, including the principles of divergence and convergence, to inspire people to invent and have new ideas. We also discuss how and when to integrate creativity in your own requirements process.
Value is concerned with the cost and benefits of requirements. Here we quantify requirements so you can measure their cost, and compare to the benefit they deliver. We show you how to use requirements deliverables for early estimates. We give you ways of prioritising and negotiating requirements to best fit your project sociology. We treat requirements as a business investment, and consider the ways to quantify business value. We also explore ways to take advantage of requirements reuse.
Meta-Management and Multi-Technology
Meta-management is managing the connections between the projects, tasks, people and technologies for multi-component projects. Meta-management is also about managing requirements changes in the most efficient way. You can apply meta-management principles to the pieces of one large project for managing a number of inter-dependent projects. Here we identify the components that need meta-management along with approaches for keeping track of the dynamics. We also learn how to modify your requirements knowledge model to cater for multi-product projects.
Requirements come from people. We call these people stakeholders-the people who have an interest in your requirements. We show you how to find the stakeholders and interest them in your project. And how to keep them interested. We show you how to analyse the communication demands that are most vital to your project's success. We draw on knowledge from sociology, philosophy and psychology to explain how to do a project sociology analysis for building communication bridges and maintaining a collaborative project. We discuss the difference between communicable knowledge and documents. You will learn how to build a mapping between requirements knowledge and the requirements deliverables that are relevant to your project.
Requirements Simulations: Stories and Prototypes in Requirements
Requirements analysts use stories to discover requirements by designing prototypes and building different scenarios of a situation. They also use stories to drive requirements workshops and to help create innovative requirements to make our products more competitive. Here you learn how to use simulations and personas to create the most useful scenarios for your project. We also look at business event stories, product use case stories, version planning stories and story rooms. Then we show how to connect informal stories to the formal requirements knowledge model.
Improving Your Requirements
An effective requirements process is composed of knowledge, activities and roles. We discuss each of these elements and identify for you a minimal framework of requirements deliverables and checkpoints. Then we show you how to modify the framework to fit a variety of projects with different sociologies and different critical success factors. We look at how to avoid potential communication chasms and requirements black holes by designing feedback loops. We show you how to adapt your requirements knowledge model, and your requirements process, for maximum agility.
Practice the techniques in workshop sessions
This course includes intensive workshops that give you the opportunity to apply the concepts presented. The case study is a multiple technology project involving a mixture of sub-projects concerned with embedded software, a web site, commercial off the shelf (COTS) software, custom built software, new systems, legacy systems and business processes. Participants work in teams and explore the extended requirements ideas by:
Participants also get the chance to interact personally with the instructor, receive advice on their own situations, and discuss how the ideas from this workshop can be implemented in their own work environment.
Finally, participants will get a free copy of the textbook "Requirements-led Project Management: Discovering David's Slingshot" that was written by Suzanne and James Robertson.
Here is what Barry Boehm writes in the foreword to this book:
You'll find this book a treasure trove of experience-based guidelines and illustrative examples on how to get the requirements right on your project. These include:
As a bottom line, the book does a wonderful job of lifting its readers from a focus on templates and objects to a focus on people's needs, capabilities, and ability to work together to achieve a shared vision of the requirements (and the design) for a system that will satisfy all their needs and constraints. I hope you have the opportunity to use its practices on your next project.