What a typical requirements workshop looks like

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What does a typical requirements workshop look like?

Build It BetterApril 18, 2019

Introduction

It’s essential to us at Enable to get the requirements for all of our projects right the first time. We achieve this by carrying out business analysis as a key step in our end-to-end process, ensuring that everything we build delivers maximum benefit to our clients.

Requirements workshops can be a great opportunity to work directly with clients to get to the bottom of their needs and build an understanding of their business objectives.

What is the goal of a requirements workshop?

Our primary goal in a requirements workshop is to understand the core of our client’s requirement and what they are hoping to achieve with their software project — this means developing in-depth knowledge of the client’s business, processes and challenges.

Some clients come to the workshop with lots of great ideas which is great, it’s encouraging to see that our clients are as passionate about their software as we are.

This isn’t essential though and a key part of any requirements workshop is to identify, challenge and simplify new ideas and solutions as well as any existing ones. In order to do this as effectively as possible, we combine our in-depth understanding of our client’s business with our knowledge of software design best practice and expertise developed over countless software projects.

The requirements workshop conveyer belt: things that would typically be covered in a requirements workshop

What does a typical requirements workshop look like?

Requirements workshops can last as long as they need to but are typically half a day to a day (or until the coffee runs out!). They can be done remotely over video-conferencing, but nothing beats having everyone in the same room, whether we are hosting at the Enable headquarters in Stratford-upon-Avon or our client is hosting it at their offices.

We aim to have multiple analysts attending a requirements workshop. This allows us to grow a wide-spread knowledge base of our clients’ businesses, which is critical to helping identify and solve their challenges. This also empowers our analysts to challenge each other’s assumptions and ideas during any further analysis work, ensuring that we are always delivering the maximum possible benefit.

The workshop will usually start by discussing the problem that the client wants to solve. The client may go through related businesses processes or limitations, by presenting relevant details such as an existing solution they are looking to replace. If background material was shared prior to the workshop, our analysts will likely have many questions to go through during this stage.

Our analysts will then work to identify the stakeholders and use cases for the system, ensuring that no edge cases that the system will need to be able to handle are missed.

Once the overall business case and individual use cases are fully understood, both parties will collaboratively work through any potential solutions that have been identified already. This process will result in the analysis team being able to produce a functional specification which is a detailed and comprehensively reviewed definition of the system that is to be built.

What are the benefits of requirements workshops?

Fundamentally, they ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and has the same understanding of the task at hand.

This means that our clients receive high quality software that is optimised to meet their needs.

What’s it like for the client?

Our clients love requirements workshops too!

We have had lots of complimentary feedback from clients saying they are impressed with the team’s “attention to detail”, their “patience and their focus” and “the level of detail of business analysis”.

Conclusion

Requirements workshops are a key part of our process at Enable and we find that they help foster great working relationships with our clients — making us their technology partner of choice. By ensuring that everyone involved is on the same page and has the same understanding of the task at hand, we can can be confident that our clients will receive high-quality software that’s optimised to meet their needs.

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