requirements gathering techniques

Without requirements, It’s hard to build the right product. Hence the requirements gathering, or “elicitation” process needs to be as complete as possible. In order to gather requirements from a multitude of sources, different approaches and techniques must be applied.

Here are some of our favorite requirements gathering techniques:

Hold facilitated requirements gathering sessions
Bring groups of people together to talk about the requirements. This is much faster than traditional one-on-one interviews. Moreover, when people work together, more ideas are generated.

Talk to your customer service and support teams
Your customer service and support teams are in contact with your customers. Hence, they will most likely have a better idea as to what customers want.

Set up an online community forum
Set up a community forum, an online hub where people can discuss your product and services and share ideas, feedback and provide suggestions. This will allow you to identify key requirements, and also allow people in different departments as well as customer and external team members to develop ideas from each other. It also creates a knowledge base that you can refer back to when gathering requirements.

Study improvements made by users
Sometimes, users will tweak a product so that it fits their needs in a more convenient way. If something needs modification, it usually means that something is wrong with the existing product; this makes it a valid requirement for the new version. If it’s software, did they have to add columns or find a specific integration? For non-software products, did they have to use it in conjunction with something else? Ask your users what was missing and why they made any modifications.

Look at how your product is used
Sometimes, people use things for purposes for which they were not designed. This is a good way to think of innovative ideas.

We want to know: What are your best requirements gathering techniques?

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