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Rapid Requirements Gathering

Abstract -- Join us for dinner and a discussion led by Scott Killen on gathering requirements--rapidly! We'll learn about the process and then experience it, in a most entertaining way!

Gathering requirements is one of the first steps of project initialization. Success or failure at this task usually sets the tone for the remainder of the project. Mistakes at the requirements collection phase can, at best, delay a product’s introduction and, at worst, result in catastrophic product failures. Yet, gathering requirements is typically a black art of meetings, rounds of interviews, discussions with customers, and a large dose of gut instinct. Isn’t there a better way?

Rapid Requirements Gathering (RRG) offers an alternative to traditional approaches. An RRG exercise is a specific type of phased meeting that is designed to extract requirements from a diverse collection of stakeholders. It takes the experiential base of all of its participants and, in a facilitated process, produces a rank ordered set of requirements that can guide product development.

As a meeting, RRG offers several advantages to more traditional information gathering meetings:

·    It is highly scaleable. (It works the same whether there are eight or eighty participants)

·    It is massively parallel. (There is much more than one thing going on at once)

·    It is fun. (Laugh, joke, throw things, talk about the weather, it’s ok.)

·    Almost no preparation is required. (Participants need not prepare at all. Facilitator must choose and invite the stakeholders)

·    It has built-in anonymity. (Making it great for post-project reviews)

·    It very quickly returns high quality results.  

The IEEE EMS meeting will consist of a brief overview of the RRG methodology and then Mr. Killen will facilitate an RRG exercise for attendees to experience the process first hand.

Speaker Bio

Scott Killen is a software development Technical Project Manager in Austin.  He has been certified by the Project Management Institute as a PMP and by the American Society for Quality as a CSQE.  He is a Toastmaster CTM as well as a member of the Touring Artists roster of the Texas Commission for the Arts.  Most recently he was Director of Process Strategy for CyberTrader Inc, a division of Charles Schwab.  A past President of the Austin Software Process Improvement Network, he is a passionate student of tools, methodologies, tricks, and techniques used to improve development process efficiency and increase the quality of its deliverables.

Steven Teleki,
Jan 12, 2009, 7:52 PM