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Requirements games



Co-uthored with Satish Vishwanathan

Co-uthored with Satish Vishwanathan



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Requirements games Requirements games Presentation Transcript

  • Requirements Gathering Games - Enhance your BA Arsenal BA Conference, Chennai Sunil Mundra Satish Viswanathan Jan. 29, 2011 © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Why Play Games?• Increase collaboration between stakeholders and BA• Highly effective due to visual effects• Promote objectivity in stakeholder responses due to shared abstraction• Encourages participation from all stakeholders due to feeling of empowerment• Achieve consensus and ownership of requirements at group level• Fun! © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Product in a Box
  • Goal Of The GameTo identify the most important features of the solution © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • How To Play The Game• Ask stakeholders to imagine that they are selling the proposed solution at a retail store• Give them cardboard box and ask them to design a product box that they would sell• Ask them to write marketing slogans and features that would help them to sell the solution• When finished, pretend you are a prospect and ask the stakeholders to use the product box to sell the solution to you © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Why The Game Is Effective• Selling ensures focus on benefits, rather than mere features• Limited space on the box makes people prioritize the most important aspects• Facilitates articulation of deep needs using a well- understood metaphor• Uncovers issues through observing interactions between stakeholders• Increases stakeholder enthusiasm as they get a feeling of deciding what the solution should be © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Spider WebImage courtesy: http://www.agilitrix.com/ © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Goal Of The GameTo understand solution relationships © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • How To Play The Game• Draw a circle in the center of the whiteboard and name it as the proposed solution• Ask stakeholders to draw other products and services that they think are connected to the proposed solution• Ask them to identify when, how and why these are used and draw linkages based on these• Ask them to highlight important relationships with the proposed solution and also the relationship between other products and services that are relevant to the proposed solution © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Why The Game Is Effective• Helps to discover potentially unknown relationships• Helps to visualize solution boundary from the stakeholders’ point of view• Also helps draw out constraints external to the proposed solution• Discovering interrelationships among external entities can lead to potential revenue generating opportunities © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Speed Boat © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Goal Of The GameTo identify the stakeholders’ pain areas © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • How To Play The Game• Draw a boat on a whiteboard• Inform stakeholders that the boat is current system/situation and the pain points are the anchors• Ask stakeholders to identify the anchors• Attach anchors to the boat. Create ‘meta anchors’ for grouping similar pain areas, if required• Review the anchors to separate the symptoms from the problems. Probe the symptoms, if necessary, to get to the problems• Variation: Hot Air Balloon © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Why The Game Is Effective• Provides way to express frustration without the bias of ‘group think’ or single person domination• Need to write forces the stakeholders to focus on the larger issues and keep out the trivial ones• Many stakeholders are uncomfortable expressing frustrations verbally and feel more at ease writing them down © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Buy A Feature © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Goal Of The GameTo prioritize features © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • How To Play The Game• Create a list of features of the proposed solution and assign a price to each• Give play money to each of the stakeholders• Ask them to collaborate to buy features for the immediate release• Ensure the important features are priced such that no single customer can buy them• Ensure that the money available to stakeholders is less than the price of all the features• Game works best with 4-7 stakeholders across varied roles © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Why The Game Is Effective• Ensures stakeholder ownership of prioritization, thereby avoiding post-delivery disappointments• Pulls them away from “I want everything’ syndrome• Helps stakeholders to arrive at consensus regarding feature priorities• Observing stakeholder negotiation leads to better understanding of what stakeholders really want © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Making Games More Effective• Be a Facilitator and not an Analyst while conducting the games• Ignore the ‘messiness’ of the output. Focus on the learnings• Do not pass any judgment• Ensure participation from all stakeholders. Prompt quiet stakeholders where necessary• Be careful about revealing your biases and expectations• Listen• Observe interactions between stakeholders – you will understand a lot about the group dynamics• Make it fun for everyone• Have the outputs of the game displayed – this will prompt more discussion and conversations © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Referencewww.innovationgames.com © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Questions? © ThoughtWorks 2008
  • Thank You © ThoughtWorks 2008