Interviewing is a simple and direct technique. Context-free questions can help achieve bias- free interviews. Then, it may be appropriate to search for undiscovered requirements by exploring solutions. Convergence on some common needs will initiate a "requirements repository" for use during the
User interview-requirement gathering technique A simple, direct technique that can be used in virtually every situation. Describes the interviewing process and provides a generic template. for conducting user and stakeholder interviews.
Biases and predispositions of the interviewer do not interfere with a free exchange of information. we shouldnt let our context interfere with understanding the real problem to be solved . we operate within a repetitive domain or context in which certain elements of the solution are obvious, or at least appear to be obvious.
We have solved this type of problem before, and we fully expect that our experience will apply in this new case. No idea about potential solution. we shouldnt let our context interfere with understanding the real problem to be solved.
The interview context The context free question. By asking questions about the nature of the users problem without any context for a potential solution. To address this problem, Gause and Weinberg (1989) introduced the concept of the "context- free question."
These questions force us to listen before attempting to invent or to describe a potential solution. A better understanding of the customers problem. Problems affecting customers motivation & behaviour must be addressed.
Solution selling the salesperson uses a series of questions focused on first gaining a real understanding of the customers problem and what solutions, if any, the customer already envisions.
Value added text. Solutions are explored after the context-free questions have been asked and answered. structured interview.-context-free and non- context-free sections.
The Moment of Truth: The Interview With a little preparation and with the structured interview in ones pocket, any member of the team can do an adequate job of interviewing a user or customer.
Prepare an appropriate context-free interview, and jot it down in a notebook for reference during the interview. Review the questions just prior to the interview. Before the interview, research the background of the stakeholder and the company to be interviewed.
Jot down answers in your notebook during the interview. Refer to the template during the interview to make certain that the right questions are being asked.
The interviewer should make sure that the script is not overly constraining. Once rapport has been established, the interview is likely to take on a life of its own. Ask follow-up questions about the information that has just been provided.
The developer can summarize the key user needs or product features that were defined in the interview. These "user needs" live near the top of our requirements pyramid and serve as the driving force for all of the work that follows.
Compiling the Need Data Your problem analysis will have identified the key stakeholders and users you will need to interview to gain an understanding of the stakeholders needs. The Analysts Summary: 10 + 10 + 10 ? 30
"three most important needs or problems "uncovered in this interview. In many cases, after just a few interviews, these highest-priority needs will start to be repeated. Requirements repository.
The Case StudyThe HOLIS team decided to have the marketing team (Eric andCathy) develop the questions for the interview but wanted everyoneon the team to experience the process and to have the opportunityto meet customers face to face and thereby "see" the problem anda potential solution from the customers perspective. So, the teamdivided up the customer and distributor list and had each teammember interview two people. The team used the AnalystsSummary to summarize the needs that were provided and weededout the duplicates. After fifteen interviews, the team had identified20-some needs to fill in the top of their requirements pyramid.
From the homeowners perspective:Flexible and modifiable lighting control for entire house• "Futureproof" ("As technology changes, Id like compatibilitywith new technologies that might emerge.")• Attractive, unobtrusive, ergonomic• Fully independent and programmable or (reconfigurable)switches for each room in the house• Additional security and peace of mind• Intuitive operation ("Id like to be able to explain it to mytechnophobic mother.")• A reasonable system cost, with low switch costs• Easy and inexpensive to fix• Flexible switch configurations (from one to seven "buttons"per switch)• Out of sight, out of mind• 100% reliability• Vacation security settings• Ability to create scenes, such
From the DistributorsPerspective: A competitive product offering Some strong product differentiation Easy to train my salespeople Can be demonstrated in my shop High gross margins
A Note on Questionnaires No substitute for interview. When it comes to requirements gathering, the questionnaire technique has some fundamental problems. Relevant questions cannot be decided in advance. The assumptions behind the questions bias the answers.
Did this class meet your expectations? Assumption: You had expectations, so this is a meaningful question. It is difficult to explore new domains and there is no interaction to explore domains that need to be explored. Unclear responses from the user are difficult to follow up on.
Indeed, some have concluded that the questionnaire technique suppresses almost everything good about requirements gathering, and therefore, we generally do not recommend it for this purpose. A questionnaire can be used effectively to gather a significant amount of focused data in a short period of time.