Three Good Subheadings To Put Into Your Elicitation Documentation Templates

Some days, all I want to do at work is fill holes in a project documentation template and listen to something catchy on my headphones. We have all been there and this practice can yield some amazing results. One of the predecessor steps in achieving that level of success is quality focused preparation of those templates. My opinion about template usage varies from positive to much less positive mostly on the motivation of the person that is going to use that template. 

My old buddy Bogie, always opent to the idea of taking some time to let me snap a fun photo!

If your approach is based upon finding the right template to provide aid in what you want to say, I have a super positive viewpoint. If you craft your own templates, can communicate to others your vision and it is accepted by them, I'm impressed. 

Lets take a slice out of the BABOK v3 and see how it might apply to a personalized business analysis template. According to the (all powerful and wise) BABOK, there are three common types of elicitation. These are collaborative, research and experiments. So the section of the template that covers the elicitation approach could look something like this:

COLLABORATION: <state situations in which elicitation will be accomplished with direct interaction with a stakeholder(s)>

RESEARCH: <state likely candidate resources in which you expect to find elicitation information for the endeavor and how you will leverage this information in your approach>

EXPERIMENTS: <state endeavors in which information or insights cannot be gained any other way than a prototype, proof of concept or other low level product creation method>

The following are three business analysis documents that could easily leverage value from such grouping your elicitation approach:

Approach documentation comes handy in situations where you have a large team of business analysts tackling a huge endeavor or when you have a junior business analyst that may lack elicitation experience. In both cases, you want to mitigate the risk of elicitation inefficiencies. Additionally, it is likely there will be a senior business analyst that will review and ultimately be responsible for the overall elicitation efforts. Being able to review information related to the three types of elicitation can be very appropriate here.

The word "charter" literally does not appear in the BABOK and this is a bit weird, when you reflect on how big of deal it is in the PMBOK. In most charters, there is a section to include requirements related information that may play a factor in an approval decision. Instead of putting "boilerplate" requirements here, you could include approach information. This can easily be valuable in obtaining the correct "go/no go" decision from leadership. 

The business requirements document or the requirements traceability matrix should have some form of traceability. It can be helpful to pencil in how requirements will be traced before you gather them. For example, you can add sections in a RTM spreadsheet for the three elicitation types and then fill in requirements right under those sections. 

So there you go, just another potential way to leverage classic BABOK content in the real world! Feel free to add your comments or email me your thoughts on this approach!

© 2017 Dwayne Wright