In this episode, Kent McDonald shares a powerful approach to eliciting information using an ancient questioning technique..

After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • How to apply the Socratic method to requirements elicitation
  • The different types of questions you should use for the situation
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Show Notes

Using questions to draw out information is a critical skill.  By using the ancient technique of Socratic questioning, we can apply the right type of question to uncover needed information. 

Socratic questioning includes six categories of questions to use depending on the need and the context.  Those categories are:

  1. Clarification questions
  2. Questions to probe assumptions
  3. Questions to probe for reasons and evidence
  4. Questions about viewpoints and perspectives
  5. Questions about implications and consequences
  6. Questions about the question


Listen to the full episode for information on how to use these types of questions (along with examples) and discover the pitfalls to avoid.



Your Homework

In your current role, look for ways to apply Socratic Questioning.  Make a list of potential questions and truly listen to the responses.  The responses will guide your next questions.


Links mentioned in this episode:

Kent McDonald

Kent McDonald

Founder, Knowledge Bridge Partners

Kent McDonald uncovers better ways of delivering value by doing it and helping others do it. His more than 20 years of experience includes work in business analysis, strategic planning, project management, and product development in a variety of industries. As the founder of Knowledge Bridge Partners, he helps organizations figure out the right things to do in their IT and product development work. He currently practices those ideas as Product Owner for the Agile Alliance. Kent is also the author of the book, Beyond Requirements.


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