Saturday, October 3, 2015

Questions to ask at a requirements elicitation interview.

When I was an 18 year old trainee analyst I had to do my first requirements interview. I met with this old guy, who frankly would probably now be to me a young guy, in his office. “Tell me about your job” I said. “I’m like a mushroom” he said. “Kept in the dark and fed bull****”. I didn’t know what to say.
Don’t be caught out like I was. Here are some questions you need to ask when eliciting requirements by interview. Take a deep breath. Here goes:
  1. What is your current job title?
  2. Who do you report to line?
  3. Who do you report to functionally (dotted lines)?
  4. Briefly summarize your responsibilities.
  5. Do you have any accurate and up to date documentation that describes your responsibilities? If so, can I have a copy?
  6. What are the triggers that cause you to start the tasks for which you are responsible? Can I have copies of any associated documents, screens or reports?
  7. What do you do in each of these cases? What are the key steps you take? Who do you work with? What systems do you use? How do you know when you are done? What deliverables do you produce? Can I have copies?
  8. What works really well in your current job? Why?
  9. What works less well? Why?
  10. What happens when things go wrong?
  11. What happens when things go well?
  12. What suggestions do you have for improvements?
  13. What is your greatest challenge? How do you overcome that?
  14. If you could make just one change that will bring about significant improvements, what would it be and why?
  15. Can I have a copy of any remaining forms and documentation that you use?
  16. Can I have examples of any remaining system inputs and outputs that you use?
  17. Can I have a copy of your job description?
  18. Who reports to you? What are their titles and responsibilities? Can I have copies of their job descriptions?
  19. What training is required for your position?
  20. What training have you attended in the last two years?
  21. Who else should I speak with to obtain more information?
What do you ask? What are your favorite questions? What question do you most regret asking? Comment below!