“Industry Best Practice” for requirements capture

The bad old days

It’s a tense atmosphere totally void of energy. Sixteen people crammed into a room for a requirements gathering workshop. All attendees are heads down staring intently at laptops with very occasional eye contact with each other. You could hear a pin drop if it wasn’t for the gentle hum of the air conditioning competing with the tippy tapping on keyboards.

The minutes of the previous meeting are read out and everyone agrees they are a true record. The agenda is read out and no one has anything to add to it. Four of the sixteen attendees are having 90% of the conversation. Who are the other people? Why are they here? Thirty minutes into the meeting the eyelids of three individuals start the fight against gravity. Part way through the meeting some people leave the room whilst others join the room. Who are these people, what is their role in the meeting? No introductions, they simply sit down, open their laptops and contribute to the background tippy tapping.

After three hours, the requirements gathering workshop is closed with a single action item – to schedule a follow up workshop.