Requirements Gathering

Requirement gathering techniques:

  • Questionnaires
  • Searching records and documentation
  • Sampling
  • Observation
  • Interviewing

Questionnaires are not used in the requirements gathering as "Questionnaires are usually used where similar types of information need to be obtained from a large number of respondents or from remote locations". Unfortunately due to the nature of this project it will not be possible to use a large number of respondents and as they are not at remote locations, interviewing has been considered more appropriate.

Searching records and documentation is not really appropriate for this project as the problem domain is specified using observation techniques.

Sampling is also not really appropriate for this project as statistical analysis would not really help in specifying the system requirements and would require a large sample of data which is not available in this project.

Observation is used by us. Observation is used to specify the problem domain and the existing solutions. It could be argued that the author may have a biased opinion making it necessary to include the views of others within the requirements gathering process.

Interviewing is used as the main method for requirement gathering as it is seen as one of the best techniques
for establishing and verifying the requirements and is most appropriate due to the small number of system users available. Interviewing allows questions to be followed up where as questionnaires would not.

Conducting an interview requires good planning, good interpersonal skills and an alert and responsive frame of mind.

Before the interview an appointment is made with the users, at the same time they are told the approximate duration and content of the interview. As only one of each type of user is available it is not necessary to create an interview schedule.

At the start of the interview an introduction is made and purpose of interview stated. Permission is granted by the users for notes to be taken during the interview. During the interview the semi-structured agenda is stuck to and direction controlled. A wide variety of question types are used to gain the information required. The functionality is specified through use case diagrams and points are clarified between the interviewer and interviewee.

After the interview the interviewee is thanked for their time. An additional interview is not necessary as the system requirements are agreed on in the interview.

There are three main users in this project: the manager, the payroll personnel and the payroll manager, through interviewing:

  • The manager is able to specify how he would like to submit and view replies to the queries.
  • The payroll personnel is able specify what such a system needs.
  • The payroll manager is able to give me an insight into how he managed the payroll queries and the sort of reports she produces from them.


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