The Santa Approach to Requirements Gathering

ArgonDigital - enterprise automation experts

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‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the world, everyone was enjoying their Christmas surprises. Everyone except the North Pole’s favorite elves. These little elves had just helped deliver gifts to homes all over the world, but it was already time to start planning for next year’s surprises! And so the little elves begin their requirements gathering for next year’s holiday toys.

To kick-off next year’s project, the elves gather for a scoping meeting in the North Pole (except those that are based at the South Pole, they typically conference call in). Santa facilitates the effort to elicit the year’s gifting objectives. They debate the big scope decisions – do they think the kids will take a liking to electronic gifts (can they really top the Wii again so soon?) or maybe an outdoors focus (can they innovate a next generation of roller-blades?). This is a big decision to make because all the elfs’ requirements activities for the next year will focus around this decision. Once they have their scope defined, the elves set out to elicit requirements using a favorite approach of looking at the People, Systems and Data.

Once they have gifting objectives to define their scope, the elves have to divide up their work for the year. First, they draw the global org-chart in the snow. They find that it works best if teams of elves own regions of the world. For example, a team of about 30 elves could easily own the southwest part of the US. Within the regions, they break the org-chart down to cities, neighborhoods, houses, gender and finally into “good” or “needs improvement” children. This was all based on the prior year’s data of course, since we all know it’s really hard to keep an org-chart up to date. But once they get to work on their region, they can make updates to the chart pretty easily. And so, with their org charts completed, each elf team heads out to start their requirements analysis for the children in their chart.

The elves find that after focusing on “who” they needed to build toys for, they need to look at the data involved in this project….the often-dreaded “Behavior Records”. We all know they are out there. We all know Santa knows what’s in them. And to the elves, they are the foundation of the requirements work. The elves have to quickly get to work to analyze the existing data records, interview SMEs to understand where they may be out of date, and update the records to guide their year. And of course, they have to create new records for any new children!

Tune in here to find out how the elves uses Systems, gather their functional requirements and hit their deadline!

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