Of all the Business Analysis related books I have read, Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis stands out as one of my favourites.
As I look at my copy of The Software Requirements Memory Jogger, the cover is slightly worn, some pages have the edges folded down and some are marked with pen or small sticky notes. This book gets a lot of use at my desk. It continues to serve me as a reference tool, or “memory jog” even after reading it through years ago. Lets explore a little bit on why this continues to be the case, and why this book is a valuable resource to have for any business analyst.
I first read this book shortly after it was released. After that, I became a big fan of Ellen Gottesdiener. Her books, newsletter and website blogs are a powerhouse of information of benefit to Business Analysts everywhere. I recommend the book to BA’s at any level in their career as well as Project Managers and to those in a facilitator role. A small, almost pocket size guide, it still surprises me that so much information is contained in it about the tasks related to software requirements.
The Core of the Book
The book focuses on tools, techniques and models to elicit, analyze, specify, validate and manage software requirements and even includes a case study to show you how to use the tools and techniques at each step in the requirements process. Confused about terminology? The book also includes a comprehensive glossary.
Key learnings of the “Jogger”
- Definitions of the types of requirements.
- Key practices that promote the creation of excellent requirements; such as, trace the requirements origins and how they link to other requirements and system elements
- Setting the stage for good requirements development. I like how Ellen discusses why a Vision Statement is important here.
- Developing a requirements risk mitigation strategy. Ellen provides examples of some common strategies to get you started.
- Developing stakeholder categories and profiles. Ellen provides a template for documenting the important information about stakeholders with sample text.
- Descriptions of elicitation techniques; what they are, why do it, how to do it and factors to consider with each technique.
- How to use models to analyze the requirements.
- Factors to consider when selecting a requirements elicitation technique. For example, consider the number of stakeholders, if it’s a large group then a survey may be a good technique to use. Also, keep in mind the time it takes to review and compile a large number of responses in your project planning.
- The practical, easy to understand information that is so relevant to Business Analysts is what really kept me reading this guide.
- It’s small size makes it quite portable, and quite handy for reference anywhere.
Author Cast High Level Walkthrough
Yamo did a high level book walkthrough of the Jogger with Ellen. TheBACoach Podcast episode 9 (TBAC 009) covers both the books that Ellen authored, and I highly recommend you listen to this episode.
(Usefulness – 1 thru 5)
- TheBACoach team rates this book at a 5 (Highly Recommended)
Have you read the Jogger? What parts of this book did you like the most? Please use the comments section below to give your feedback.