Getting and Writing IT Requirements in a Lean / Agile World

Getting and Writing IT Requirements in a Lean / Agile World

This course provides a proven set of lean/agile business analysis techniques. After completion, you will know how to express business needs or business requirements as User Stories, Features, and ultimately as Given-When-Then structures. This is the language that allows developers to deliver the IT solutions the organization needs.

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Course Goal

  • Adapt 10 different requirements gathering techniques to Lean - Agile - Continuous Delivery software development
  • Express business needs/wants in formats to optimally support all Software Development Methodologies
  • Learn how to reduce time wasted on miscommunications that can be easily misinterpreted
  • Drill-down into requirements - features - user stories - and functions to identify and express test scenarios
  • Identify 17 types of Non-Functional Requirements and develop Given-When-Then test scenarios for them


  • Consultants
  • End users
  • IT/Business analysts
  • Project Managers
  • Project team members


Lesson Plan

Introduction to the Course
1 Course Description and Learning Objectives Preview
2 Instructor Bio
Requirements in a Lean and Agile World
3 Agile and Lean Philosophies
4 Communicating Business Needs in Lean and Agile Environments
5 Using Cynefin to Prioritize and Analyze Features, User Stories, and Requirements
6 EXERCISE: Cynefin Applied to Proposed Initiatives
7 Analysis in Lean and Agile Environments
Requirements Discovery for Agile and Lean IT Initiatives
8 Common Elicitation Techniques and Challenges
9 Tracking Progress with a Question file
10 EXERCISE: What Makes a Good Requirements Elicitor?
11 Tips and Tricks for Effective Conversations
12 EXERCISE: Comparing Types of Requirements Elicitation Meetings
13 Identifying and Interacting with Stakeholders
14 EXERCISE: Stakeholder Identification
15 Agile Requirements: Tips for Stakeholder Interactions / User Story Conversations
16 Non-Verbal Communication
17 Dealing with People
18 EXERCISE: Problem People or People Problems?
19 Listening Techniques
20 EXERCISE Part 1: Download audio file for exercise part 2
21 EXERCISE Part 2: Listening Techniques Applied
22 Success Criteria for Effective Communication
23 Business Problem Definition
24 EXERCISE: Defining Business Problems
25 Problem Analysis Uncovers Requirements and Features
26 EXERCISE: Aristotelian Problem Symptom Reduction Applied
Writing Business and Stakeholder Features and Requirements
27 User Stories Are Stakeholder Requirements
28 Reducing Complexity Increases Comprehension
29 EXERCISE: First-cut User Stories
30 User Stories Deliver Business Value
31 Relevance of Features, Requirements, and User Stories
Avoiding Ambiguity and Subjectivity
32 Misunderstandings Kill Projects
33 Causes of Requirements Ambiguity
34 Revealing and Removing Ambiguity
35 Ensuring a Common Understanding
36 More Ambiguity Reduction Techniques
37 EXERCISE: Using Out-of-Box Thinking to Reduce Ambiguity
Finding Test Scenarios in a LEAN, AGILE World
38 Test Scenarios Are the Ultimate Requirements
39 What Are Scenarios and Outlines Using (Gherkin) Given-When-Then Format
40 EXERCISE: Expressing Scenarios in Given-When-Then Format
41 Engineering AGILE Test Data
42 EXERCISE: Engineering Test Data
43 Decision Tables Identify Scenarios
44 EXERCISE: Using Decision Tables for Test Scenario Identification
45 Symptoms Are Great Test Scenarios
46 From Use Cases to Test Scenarios
47 EXERCISE: Discovering Tests Scenarios Using a Use Case
48 More Test Scenario Identification Techniques
49 Functional Solution Requirements Reveal Scenarios
50 EXERCISE: Functional Decomposition
51 Identify Given-When-Then (Gherkin) Scenarios From Functional Requirements
52 EXERCISE: Informational Decomposition
Dealing with Non-Functional Requirements (NFR)
53 Common Categories and Characteristics of NFR
54 Discovering Non-Functional Requirements
55 Identifying Given-When-Then (GWT) test scenarios for Non-functional Requirements
56 EXERCISE: Testing Non-Functional Requirements (NFR)
From Show-Time to Go-Time
57 Where Do You Go from Here?
58 Appendix - Course Slides PDF


Tom Hathaway

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4 Reviews

21 Students

4 Courses

Tom Hathaway

Business Analysis Expert, Speaker, Author, Trainer, Mentor, and Facilitator

Tom has been a business analyst since long before it was called business analysis. He has over 30 years of experience in the fields of information technology, methodologies, and business analysis. In his writings and lectures, he strives for enlightening while entertaining.  He has taught thousands of students business and systems analysis skills since the '80s and has facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc). 

As a team, Angela and Tom Hathaway have trained, consulted, mentored and coached thousands of business analysts around the world for organizations from small businesses to Fortune 100. Current and past customers include TIAA-CREF (Financial), Cathay Pacific (Airline), Manitoba Telecom Services (Telecommunications), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Hospitality), government agencies, and a myriad of organizations spanning all sizes and industries. Tom and Angela's training, consulting, and mentoring efforts have saved their customers around the world millions and can help your organization improve its business analysis practices.

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