Ellen Gottesdiener

EBG Consulting Inc., Indiana, USA

WRITING REQUIREMENTS is a crucial early step in software development, and use cases and scenarios are a natural way to discover and describe requirements in many domains. But how exactly do you elicit them? That's where collaborative (or facilitated) requirements workshops come in. They give project teams a structure and techniques to guide creation of use cases and scenarios.

Requirements workshops are the best way to ensure timely collaboration between businesspeople, technical people, and customers. These workshops focus participants' actions on generating work products based on proven models. The workshops use an iterative approach: Participants build the documents step by step, periodically reviewing their work.

Workshops generate requirements documents of the highest quality and also build trust and enhance communication among team members.

Workshops have their drawbacks. Key stakeholders must spend chunks of time. Some cultures may not like empowering participants to make binding requirements decisions. To be effective, you need a neutral facilitator.

Collaborative workshops call on the use of learnable, repeatable techniques. One is careful preparation, including draft work products and decisions on how closure will be achieved. Others include guided activities, such as small-group work, the use of templates and models, and tests of the work products. Guided retrospectives ...

Get Scenarios, Stories, Use Cases: Through the Systems Development Life-Cycle now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.