The main 18 elicitation techniques.
May 3, 2020

The main 18 elicitation techniques.

By Lau

“Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order.”

– Sydney Brenner —
Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order. - Sydney Brenner Click To Tweet

In the previous article (Prepare elicitation by completing 5 activities) we have learnt how to prepare for elicitation, and the last activity was to select the proper technique to be able to effectively identify the user needs.

There are many techniques and each of them have different proposes. The distance, the culture of the organization and the expected results will condition the business analyst when deciding the best technique for each elicitation. When selecting elicitation techniques, business analysts consider: 

  • techniques commonly used in similar initiatives,
  • techniques specifically suited to the situation, and
  • the tasks needed to prepare, execute and complete each technique.

The BABOK Guide enlist the 18 following elicitation techniques:

1. Benchmarking and Market Analysis.

It is used as a source of business analysis information by comparing a specific process, system, product, service, or structure with some external baseline, such as a similar organization or baseline provided by an industry association. Market analysis is used to determine what customers want and what competitors provide.

 2. Brainstorming.

It is a technique that consists of gathering a group of people and writing down the ideas that they propose. This technique follows a series of rules that are intended to enhance its effectiveness. Rules: Defer judgement, Encourage wild ideas, Build on the ideas of others, Stay focused on the topic, One conversation at a time. 

 3. Business Rules Analysis.

These are the conditions or constraints that define how the business operates and should be analysed. Used to identify the rules that govern decisions in an organization and that define, constrain, or enable organizational operations.

4. Collaborative Games.

They are games that aim to analyze the response or behaviour of its players. Used to develop a better understanding of a problem or to stimulate creative solutions. 

5. Concept Modelling.

It is a representation of a system, made of the composition of concepts which are used to identify key terms and ideas of importance and define the relationships between them.

 6. Data Mining.

The overall goal of the data mining process is to extract information from a dataset and transform it into an understandable structure for later use. Used to identify relevant information and patterns. 

7. Data Modelling.

It is the process that defines the association of the different objects of a database and their relationship with the rules through data models. Used to understand entity relationships during elicitation. 

8. Document Analysis.

It is a form of qualitative research that uses a systematic procedure to analyze documentary evidence and answer specific research questions. Used to review existing systems, contracts, business procedures and policies, standards, and regulations. 

9. Focus Groups.

It is about forming a new group of between 3 to 12 people guided by a moderator and an analyst who will answer different pre-planned questions. Used to identify and understand ideas and attitudes from a group.

 10. Interface Analysis.

It consists in to understand the interaction, and characteristics of that interaction, between two entities, such as two systems, two organizations, or two people or roles. 

11. Interviews.

This is the best-known way of elicitation. The business analyst meets with the stakeholder and asks questions to uncover needs, identify problems, or discover opportunities. 

12. Mind Mapping.

It is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, readings, drawings, or other concepts related by a central idea. Used to generate many ideas from a group of stakeholders in a short period, and to organize and prioritize those ideas.

 13. Observation.

It is a data collection method, which the knowledge gathering of the researched phenomenon is made by making observations of it, as and when it occurs. Used to gain insight about how work is currently done, possibly in different locations and in different circumstances. 

14. Process Analysis.

It is the action of understanding of business processes. It involves the components of a process, including inputs, procedures, controls, actors, applications, data, technologies and their outputs. Used to understand current processes and to identify opportunities for improvement in those processes.

 15. Process Modelling.

It refers to a structural representation, description or diagram, which defines a specified flow of activities in a particular business or organisational unit. Used to elicit processes with stakeholders during elicitation activities. 

16. Prototyping.

It is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process. Used to elicit and validate stakeholders’ needs through an iterative process that creates a model of requirements or designs. 

17. Survey or Questionnaire.

They are composed of a list of questions that are intended to extract statistics from the obtained responses.  Used to elicit business analysis information from a group of people in a structured way and in a relatively short period of time. 

18. Workshops.

It is a period of discussion or practical work on a particular subject in which a group of people share their knowledge or experience. Used to elicit business analysis information, including information about customers, products, work practices, and attitudes, from a group of people in a collaborative way.

Now you have a new list of techniques to apply in your next elicitation. You might also like to read about what the Three types of Elicitation are.

And don’t forget to download this FREE Digital Book: The Master Strategy for BA Beginners where you will learn how to get your first BA job by following 3 strategic steps.

See you soon. 😉