In this kata the participants should learn how determination techniques are used to gather requirements from the customer.

At the beginning of the kata all participants will meet and the moderator will give a short introduction into the theme. In order that everybody knows, what he will learn in the kata, the determination techniques are presented. Afterwards the training subject will be presented.

Every group can train either the same or different determination techniques. A group will be split into two subgroups. One subgroup will play the group of stakeholders/customer, the other will play the consultants. Suitable techniques for a kata are for example:

  • Interview
    • The stakeholder will be interviewed by the consultants. This method is quite intuitive. The great disadvantage is that with a leader in the stakeholder team the others maybe not able to get a word in edgeways. Because you sit together with the stakeholder, you get direct feedback form them, quite better than asking the questions e.g. via mail. There is not a lot structure in the answers, so a good protocol has to be made. A catalogue with questions must be prepared by the consultants before the session starts.
  • Walt-Disney-method
    • This technique is a several-perspective-technique. The group tries to see the requirements in three different perspectives: creative, realistic and critical. The technique is good for open minded stakeholder. The combination of stakeholder and consultants will result in a creative but realistic result. When the group wants to change the perspective, a switch to another room, which inspires the new perspective could help.
  • 6-3-1 method
    • 6 persons sitting on 1 table writing 3 requirements on a paper. Afterwards the paper is handed out to the person next to it which is also writing 3 requirements (maybe based on the previous written ones) on the paper. This is repeated until there are no ideas left. The six persons should all be stakeholder, one consultant can moderate the requirement workshop. This method is quite silent, but every stakeholder will have one’s say. The method is quite creative, very different requirements can be found.Critical points maybe not be seen enough. It is good to use to find ideas for existing requirements. It unsuitable for a kickoff meetings, because basic requirements will not be covered completely. It is also a good technique to use remotely. You can use it via email for example.

In the end, the groups will meet together and present their results (the requirements the group found out) and give feedback on advantages and disadvantages of the trained method.

axenton training subject

Our kata had a time slot of about one hour. The agenda was this:

  • 5 min: Introduction to the kata theme
  • 5 min: Introduction to the training subject
  • 5 min: finding groups
  • 30 min: practise kata theme on training subject
  • 20 min: Meeting and exchange of knowledge/Feedback

Approach

In our kata we met for a quick introduction to determination techniques. Afterwards the kata leader presented fictive requirements of a fictive customer. The customer wanted to have a new software to organize and see the holidays of all his workers. The customer had not a lot of requirements in this first presentation, so a determination workshop had to be made: our kata!

After the introduction three groups where built. Every group had four team members. Every group used another determination technique and backed out into a room to find as much as requirements for the „holiday organizer“ as possible.

Conclusion

We found out, that the interview technique found a lot of basic features and was really straight forward. The 631-Method is really creative and you can find many new ideas, but is very silent. The Walt Disney method will need a little bit of training, they didn’t found a lot of features because they had to find out how to cope with the different perspectives.

In the end we gathered all the requirements and discussed advantages and disadvantages of the different techniques. The result was documented and used as a basis for our next requirements kata.