Focusing on techniques used with Faithful+Gould clients, Cari Stieglitz, PMP, will share an approach to getting requirements out of end-users at the PMI Global Congress on October 21, 2012, in Vancouver. The title of her presentation is, “Beginning at the End – Requirements Gathering Lessons from a Flow Chart Junkie.” The PMI Global Congress is held October 20-24, and hosts more than 2,000 project managers from around the world.
“I am not a fan of the term ‘gathering requirements’ because it gives an impression that the stakeholder is already aware of what they need. Rather, approaching requirements at different angles – including the visual forward-backward pass helps everyone see where the pain points are,” says Cari Stieglitz.
Cari was titled the “flow chart junkie” during a recent project implementing a Project Management Office at a transit agency in Seattle. Every process was charted in a flow chart as a way to show the requirements needed for process
The core project team would get into a room and address a knowledge area for the project, such as cost, schedule, risk, etc. The disparate processes done by each project manager were discussed and the inefficiencies identified. Faithful+Gould used this information as a baseline to creating the new
processes under the PMO.
Since that project, Cari has used the forward-backward pass in other projects with positive results on identifying the right requirements. By charting the forward
pass, the basic process is captured in a swim lane flow chart with responsibilities and handoffs.
The backward pass helps the stakeholders focus on one step at a time, identifying everything that could be an issue in that particular point in time. Cari compares it to reciting the alphabet backwards – by mixing up the order, the stakeholders are forced to consider each letter individually.