I was driving somewhere with my 2-year old daugther the other day when she started asking me questions. More specifically, she asked me one question, “Why are their no clouds today?” I quickly gave an answer, and (those of you with kids know where I’m going with this) she proceeded to follow up every answer I gave with, “Why?” It forced me to really get to the root of what we were talking about (and recognize the limits of my knowledge of cloud formation. 🙂 However, I also realized that a 2-year old would make a great Business Analyst! One of the fundamental rules of elicitation is to ask “why?” Keep asking “why” to get to the bottom of whatever topic you are discussing with a SME, and you’ll almost always find out what the real issue is. In addition, you will gain a deeper understanding of the topic being discussed. So if you ever find yourself at a loss for words when eliciting requirements, just remember to act like a 2-year old.
Learn how to tie software requirements together with visual models and other artifacts created during the analysis process.