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4.2.1  Purpose

The purpose of Conduct Elicitation is to draw out, explore, and identify information relevant to the change.

4.2.2  Description

There are three common types of elicitation:

  • Collaborative: involves direct interaction with stakeholders, and relies on their experiences, expertise, and judgment.
  • Research: involves systematically discovering and studying information from materials or sources that are not directly known by stakeholders involved in the change. Stakeholders might still participate in the research. Research can include data analysis of historical data to identify trends or past results.
  • Experiments: involves identifying information that could not be known without some sort of controlled test. Some information cannot be drawn from people or documents—because it is unknown. Experiments can help discover this kind of information. Experiments include observational studies, proofs of concept, and prototypes.

One or more elicitation techniques may be used to produce the desired outcome within the scope of elicitation.

Stakeholders may collaborate in elicitation by:

  • participating and interacting during the elicitation activity, and
  • researching, studying, and providing feedback on documents, systems, models, and interfaces.

4.2.3  Inputs

  • Elicitation Activity Plan: includes the planned elicitation activities and techniques, activity logistics (for example, date, time, location, resources, agenda), scope of the elicitation activity, and available sources of background information.

Figure 4.2.1: Conduct Elicitation Input/Output Diagram

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4.2.4  Elements

.1   Guide Elicitation Activity

Understanding the proposed representations of business analysis information, which were defined in planning, helps ensure that the elicitation activities are focused on producing the intended information at the desired level of detail. This applies to each instance of an elicitation activity throughout a change and may vary based on the activity. In order to help guide and facilitate towards the expected outcomes, business analysts consider:

  • the elicitation activity goals and agenda,
  • scope of the change,
  • what forms of output the activity will generate,
  • what other representations the activity results will support,
  • how the output integrates into what is already known,
  • who provides the information,
  • who will use the information, and
  • how the information will be used.

While most of these are considered when planning for the elicitation activity (see Prepare for Elicitation), they are also all important while performing the elicitation activity in order to keep it on track and achieve its goal. For example, stakeholders might have discussions that are out of scope for the activity or change, and the business analyst needs to recognize that in the moment to determine the next step; either acknowledge it and continue, or guide the conversation differently.

The business analyst also uses this information to determine when there has been sufficient elicitation, in order to stop the activity.

.2   Capture Elicitation Outcomes

Conducting elicitation is frequently iterative and takes place in a series of sessions—in parallel or in sequence—according to the scope of the elicitation activity (see Prepare for Elicitation). If the elicitation activity is unplanned, outcomes are captured and integrated into the appropriate planned outcomes.

Capturing the elicitation outcomes helps to ensure that the information produced during elicitation activities is recorded for later reference and use.

4.2.5  Guidelines and Tools

  • Business Analysis  Approach: influences how each elicitation activity is performed, as it identifies the types of outputs that will be needed based on the approach.
  • Existing Business Analysis  Information: may guide the questions posed during elicitation and the approach used to draw out information from various stakeholders.
  • Stakeholder Engagement Approach: provides collaboration and communication approaches that might be effective during elicitation.
  • Supporting Materials: includes any materials to prepare both the business analyst and participants before elicitation, as well as any information, tools, or equipment to be used during the elicitation.

4.2.6  Techniques

  • Benchmarking and Market Analysis: used as a source of business analysis information by comparing a specific process, system, product, service, or structure with some external baseline, such as a similar organization or baseline provided by an industry association. Market analysis is used to determine what customers want and what competitors provide.
  • Brainstorming: used to generate many ideas from a group of stakeholders in a short period, and to organize and prioritize those ideas.
  • Business Rules Analysis: used to identify the rules that govern decisions in an organization and that define, constrain, or enable organizational operations.
  • Collaborative Games: used to develop a better understanding of a problem or to stimulate creative solutions.
  • Concept  Modelling: used to identify key terms and ideas of importance and define the relationships between them.
  • Data Mining: used to identify relevant information and patterns.
  • Data Modelling: used to understand entity relationships during elicitation.
  • Document Analysis: used to review existing systems, contracts, business procedures and policies, standards, and regulations.
  • Focus Groups: used to identify and understand ideas and attitudes from a group.
  • Interface  Analysis: used to understand the interaction, and characteristics of that interaction, between two entities, such as two systems, two organizations, or two people or roles.
  • Interviews: used to ask questions of stakeholders to uncover needs, identify problems, or discover opportunities.
  • Mind Mapping:  used to generate many ideas from a group of stakeholders in a short period, and to organize and prioritize those ideas.
  • Observation: used to gain insight about how work is currently done, possibly in different locations and in different circumstances.
  • Process Analysis: used to understand current processes and to identify opportunities for improvement in those processes.
  • Process Modelling: used to elicit processes with stakeholders during elicitation activities.
  • Prototyping: used to elicit and validate stakeholders' needs through an iterative process that creates a model of requirements or designs.
  • Survey or Questionnaire: used to elicit business analysis information, including information about customers, products, work practices, and attitudes, from a group of people in a structured way and in a relatively short period of time.
  • Workshops: used to elicit business analysis information, including information about customers, products, work practices, and attitudes, from a group of people in a collaborative, facilitated way.

4.2.7 Stakeholders

  • Customer: will provide valuable business analysis information during elicitation.
  • Domain  Subject Matter Expert: has expertise in some aspect of the situation and can provide the required business analysis information. Often guides and assists the business analyst in identifying appropriate research sources, and may help to arrange research, experiments, and facilitated elicitation.
  • End User: the user of existing and future solutions, who should participate in elicitation.
  • Implementation Subject Matter Expert: designs and implements a solution and provides specialist expertise, and can participate in elicitation by asking clarifying questions and offering alternatives.
  • Sponsor:  authorizes and ensures that the stakeholders necessary to participate in elicitation are involved.
  • Any stakeholders: could have relevant knowledge or experience to participate in elicitation activities.

4.2.8 Outputs

  • Elicitation Results (unconfirmed): captured information in a format that is specific to the elicitation activity.