Mastering the Requirements Process (Advanced Workshop)

Mastering the Requirements Process (Advanced Workshop)

Two-day workshop on how to use good requirements practices as a project management tool

15-16 September 2009 (10-18)
Location: Pullman Diegem (Diegem)
Presented in English by
Price: 1350 EUR (excl. 21% VAT)

This event is history, please check out the List of Upcoming Seminars, or send us an email

Check out our related in-house workshops:

 Learning Objectives

About this workshop:

FREE BOOK with your workshop participation:

Requirements-Led Project Management: Discovering David's Slingshot (Hardcover)

Get this great hardcover book (Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 0321180623) free with your workshop participation.

Workshop Endorsed by
The International Institute of Business

The legendary workshop "Mastering the Requirements Process" (next one is on 11-13 August 2009) now has a sequel, especially designed to further extend your requirements capabilities. Mastering the Requirements Process gave you the techniques to discover exactly what your customers need and want for their products and to write measurable requirements.

This workshop builds on your ability by showing you how to use good requirements practices as a communication and project management tool. The workshop makes it possible for you to realise the benefits of requirements at a higher level - one where you use requirements deliverables to control your project, and produce systems that deliver the maximum possible benefits to your customers.

Using this workshop, you can build upon your superior requirements skills, and make better use of your requirements by:

  • Using your requirements deliverables as input to project management
  • Being agile - choosing the level of requirements you need for fast results
  • Assessing commercial off the shelf (COTS) software using requirements techniques
  • Exploiting requirements deliverables for risk management and cost estimation
  • Integrating creative requirements practices for innovative products
  • Maximising the value of your requirements investment
  • Taking advantage of requirements practices to enable change
  • Matching project success indicators and good requirements practices
  • Building a requirements knowledge model for communication and traceability

It is beyond argument that good requirements are crucial for good systems. This workshop is about better requirements - making yours the best they can be.

The IIBA has awarded the Atlantic Systems Guild Ltd. the right to call itself a Endorsed Education Provider. This means that this course has been approved as being aligned to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), and hence is recommended training for business analysts/requirements analysts who wish to sit the exam to become Certified Business Analysis Professionals (CBAP).

Why should you attend this workshop ?

We studied practitioners using the Volere requirements practices to assess what they needed to get an even greater advantage from their requirements projects - this workshop is the result. This is an advanced workshop that improves the skills of experienced business analysts, and teaches how to use the requirements deliverables for project management.

We show you ways of choosing the best set of requirements to give you a competitive edge and still get your product to market on time. We include techniques for quantifying the business value of your requirements investment. We show you how to anticipate market opportunities by inventing the requirements that your customers are not yet asking for. And we deal with requirements for existing systems, along with techniques for managing meta-projects - large projects made up of a number of technologies and sub-projects. The project sociology section in this workshop helps you to discover the correct stakeholders for your project, to involve them in the appropriate parts of the project, and more importantly, to keep them involved.

Who should attend this workshop ?

This workshop is appropriate for:

  • business analysts,
  • systems managers,
  • project leaders,
  • project managers,
  • consultants,
  • systems analysts
  • planners, ...

The material is aimed at people who are experienced requirements engineers and already have practical working knowledge of:

  • business events,
  • business use cases,
  • product use cases,
  • context models,
  • stakeholder maps,
  • requirements templates,
  • functional requirements,
  • non-functional requirements
  • constraints, ...

The introductory workshop, "Mastering the Requirements Process", which we organise again in 2009 on 11-13 August and on 6-8 October, covers these foundation concepts. All participants of this advanced workshop should have attended that foundation course.

 Full Programme

  FREE BOOK with your workshop participation:

Requirements-Led Project Management: Discovering David's Slingshot (Hardcover)

Get this great hardcover book (Addison-Wesley, ISBN: 0321180623) free with your workshop participation.

Workshop Endorsed by
The International Institute of Business
9.30h - 10.00h
Registration, coffee/tea and croissants
Registration (only first day)
Start of each workshop day

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:

Requirements Knowledge

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.

Requirements Value

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 Sociology

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.

End of each workshop day

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:

  • Building a requirements knowledge model
  • Changing the model to suit a variety of projects
  • Using the model to assess impact of change
  • Inventing creative requirements
  • Quantifying the requirements costs, benefits and value
  • Using meta-management principles
  • Modelling communication demand analysis
  • Inventing personas
  • Mapping stories to a formal knowledge model
  • Analysing requirements for an existing product

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 Davidís 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:

  • guidelines and examples on treating the requirements as an investment activity in Chapter 2;
  • getting the right people involved and understanding their cultures in Chapter 3;
  • techniques for stimulating mutual learning and a shared vision among stakeholders in Chapter 4;
  • the use of prototypes and simulations in Chapters 5 and 6;
  • dealing with legacy systems in Chapter 7;
  • and managing systems requirements, systems of systems requirements, and requirements processes in Chapters 9, 10, and 11.
Each chapter concludes with a nicely balanced set of "What do I do right now?" and "What's the least that I can get away with?" checklists.

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.


Suzanne Robertson (The Atlantic Systems Guild)
The Atlantic Systems Guild

Suzanne Robertson is a principal and founder of the Atlantic Systems Guild. Suzanne is co-author of "Mastering the Requirements Process" (Addison-Wesley Edition 3, 2012), a guide for practitioners on finding requirements and writing them so that all stakeholders can understand them. Her other requirements book, "Requirements-Led Project Management" (Addison-Wesley 2005) addresses how to use requirements as input to planning and management. Current work includes research and consulting on the management, sociological and innovative aspects of requirements. The product of this research is Volere, a requirements process, template and techniques for assessing requirements quality, and for specifying requirements.

Suzanne works with organisations to apply innovative techniques and fresh thinking in all of their systems development activities. She is author of many papers on systems engineering. Some of these papers are on her web site and She also speaks at numerous conferences and universities. She is a member of IEEE and BCS and on the board of the British Computer Society's Requirements Groups. She was the founding editor of the Requirements Column in IEEE Software. Other interests include a passion for the opera, cooking, skiing and finding out about curious things.

James and Suzanne Robertson are principals and co-founders of The Atlantic Systems Guild.

Questions about this ? Interested but you can't attend ? Send us an email !