Shared Understanding Tip #3: Explain Many Times, Many Ways

You and I may differ in how we learn and absorb information. I like to see for myself, you want to hear things explained to you, someone else may need a group discussion to accept a new concept.

Therefore, the next tip is: Explain many times, many ways

As business analysts we need to learn many techniques for capturing and sharing requirements.

So, a “business requirements document” should not be just a document with lots of text and indentations. User stories that are just sentences with common format are not enough to understand the full picture.

A picture with many figures asking for information in different ways

To get to an agreement on what a future state should be like, we need more.  Models, diagrams, storyboards, scenario matrices, decision tables and business rulesets all supplement and help create a coherent and multi-layered picture of a future solution.

And then, we can’t just wait for everyone to read and understand this collection of requirement artifacts. We discuss, re-draw, play with prototypes, test business rules and examine the rules. If one technique does not work, we use another. If an artifact creates confusion, we use a different tool to provide an alternate view.

We must use our business analyst mindset to focus on the noble goal – creating a shared understanding of what we are trying to build.

More posts in the Shared Understanding of Requirements category.

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