In this episode, Scott Killen tells us how to quickly elicit requirements from a large, diverse group of people with very little preparation using an approach he calls a Rapid Requirements Gathering meeting.



After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • Why Rapid Requirements Gathering (RRG) meetings are so powerful
  • How to facilitate an RRG meeting
  • The pros and cons of using an RRG meeting
  • How to get started using this approach for yourself

Show Notes

Want to quickly elicit requirements from a large, diverse group of people with very little preparation?  A Rapid Requirements Gathering meeting can help you do just that.  It’s a mixture of high level rigid structure, organized chaos, and some fun.

The Rapid Requirements Gathering meeting is structured as a set of ten time-boxed activities. Each activity is highly interactive and collaborative, leading to great outcomes.

As a result, you’ll be able to quickly develop a categorized, prioritized, and actionable list of requirements from a group of 10 to 75 stakeholders.

You’ll need a room with smooth walls, a few different colors of 3×5 yellow sticky notes, sharpie markers, and a rubber band.


The activities during the Rapid Requirements Gathering meeting are:

Introduction and review: Introduce all participants and review the meeting goal. It’s helpful to explain the meeting format and give examples of requirements to demonstrate the kind of information you hope to get from the meeting.

Enumerate items: Attendees silently brainstorm requirements for a fixed period of time using the sticky notes and sharpie markers.

Review items: After randomizing the sticky notes from each attendee to preserve anonymity, read each requirement out loud and stick it on the wall. As you read each requirement, new requirements may come up and should be added.

Associate items: Attendees group like requirements together into affinity groups. If new items are identified, they can be added.

Categorize items: Create a meaningful label or title for each affinity group.

Rationalize items: Combine or remove duplicate requirements and add, rewrite, or re-categorize individual requirements as needed.

Prioritize items by category: Teams of attendees collaborate to rank order the requirements in each affinity group.

Discuss results: Discuss the highest priority items for additional detail and clarity.

Rank overall importance: Use dot voting to identify highest priority requirements across all categories.

Final Review: Summarize the meeting results and discuss next steps. You will likely need to follow up with stakeholders to get more detail on some items.

After the meeting, collect all of the sticky notes for later use.


Listen to the full episode to understand how to facilitate a rapid Requirements Gathering meeting, hear the pros and cons of using this approach, and to find out what to do with the rubber band.



Your Homework

Try using a Rapid Requirements Gathering meeting with a small group of people using Scott’s instructions (see links below).  It’s much easier to start with a small group to gain confidence with using RRG meetings.


Links mentioned in this episode:

Scott Killen

Scott Killen

Agile Practice Leader at Paypal

Scott Killen is a founder and previous President of Agile Austin as well as the Agile Practice Leader for PayPal. He is a Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Practitioner through the Scrum Alliance. He’s a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified SAFe consultant. Scott also instructed IT Project Management and Agile Project Leadership at Austin Community College.


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