Theme: Requirements elicitation is a simple, yet complex process. A properly documented requirement
will help in achieving successfully customer outcome! Qualities of a requirements analyst is important than
the requirements itself!
Customer: I need to automate my manual sales process
You: Ok.Great! Now, tell me what do you want to build?
Customer: Hmm.You know what; I have a little idea of what I need to build. Can you throw some light
into the tunnel?
You: Sure. Now, let me understand your current sales processes?
Customer: Oh! That’s great! I am happy to share with you. And the discussion continues…
Does the above scenario visualize very familiar! Be it in a Manufacturing, Automotive, Chemical,
HealthCare or IT Industry, there is one question which is asked every often. This is like a billion dollar
question – What is that you need? The question might look very obvious, but the answer is so powerful,
which will decide the future course of actions and development activities.
The decision to build a product occurs when a foreseen or sometimes unforeseen change in a need
arises. If, at the end of the game, you need to build a super power robot, then the oxygen to it comes
from an important source called – The Requirements! However, the prime focus of this article is towards
the person involved eliciting the requirements rather on the requirements itself.
The requirements gathering a.k.a requirements elucidation is a key task, sometimes considered as the
most difficult task in any product development life cycle. A research indicates that more than 70% of
projects fail because of not limited time, resource or scope constraints. But, mostly because of unknown
or inadequate answers to our above billion dollar question! So, it becomes the responsibility of the
individual or team or organization involved during elucidation process, to syntactically, semantically
understand, analyze, synthesis and document the answers to our one billion dollar question stated above.
S/he shall be called in different names within an organization – a requirements engineer or process
analyst or business analyst or consultant or system analyst or lead developers or product managers. In
common we would be able put them into a single category called – Requirements Analyst!
Whatever the title or role you posses, remember, your ethical and sincere effort to find answer to
our billion dollar question is going to influence the go or no-go decision making process of further
development activities. The end product is whether a super power Robot or a machine with moving
ability shall depend upon the outcome from the requirements elicitation process.
A requirements analyst is like a magician with multiple faces and techniques. A magician uses his tricks
to amazes their audience, and task completes the moment show ends. Unlike magician a requirements
analyst task will start at the beginning of the product development and will continue to continue till the
product exists! Life of a requirements analyst is not a short show, but a continues journey!
This article talks about some of the quality attributes which I felt is also important for a requirements
analyst from my personal experiences and learning. There could be many more quality attributes and is
beyond the scope of this article. Please do share your experiences as comments to share and learn!