In this episode, Jared Wiese shares an approach for focusing on value to help you not just elicit requirements, but to get requirements right.

After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • How to decompose requirements into smaller, valuable chunks
  • Why simply asking customers questions about what they want is the wrong approach
  • How to map value using the BML approach
  • The three magic words to help you focus on delivering value

Show Notes

As project professionals, we often help clearly articulate the requirements to develop and deliver a solution.  However, getting requirements right can be challenging.

Sometimes the requirements don’t address what the customer truly needs.  Your requirements may be exactly what the customer asked for yet not solve the real problem.

Getting requirements right helps us to solve the right problem with the right solution while focusing on real value.


The Challenge with Getting Requirements Right

There’s frequently a misconception that we need to come to a requirements elicitation meeting with exactly the right questions to ask.  That approach actually slows things down and prevents you from finding the true need.

Asking too many questions and being forced into a checklist of questions can derail the conversation from leading to a better understanding of the context and the underlying business problem to be solved.

Instead, start with a better question; What is the real business objective or goal we’re trying to achieve?


In Order To . . .

Starting with the goal (the big ‘Why’) allows you to drill down and understand the context and the scope of what you’re trying to achieve.

Asking why an initiative is important to get to the ‘in order to’ statement helps you decompose a problem further and discover the right questions to ask.  It allows you to drive out the value and focus on the right things.


Business Modeling Language

Using Business Modeling Language (BML) or a similar approach such as story mapping, you can visually decompose larger items into more detail and discover the full scope.

BML helps you model the business process or unction and discover what it takes to achieve the goal.

Asking “In order to do X, what do we need to do?” allows you to flesh out the details of the project and focus only on that which gets you closer to the overall goal.


By collaborating together and focusing on the ‘Why”, you can better manage scope, focus on value, and deliver better business outcomes.

Listen to the full episode to hear all of Jared’s advice on how to get requirements right.



Your Homework

Try using the “in order to” clause to gain clarity, decompose requirements, and focus on value.


Links mentioned in this episode:

Jared Wiese

Jared Wiese

IT Business Analyst | Career Coach

Jared Wiese is an IT Business Analyst, Career Coach, and Life Strategist.  His passion is improvement and he looks for ways to simplify and improve life for others.  Jared is speaker and an active contributer to the Business Analysis community through his LinkedIn articles.


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