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Tuesday, March 17 • 11:00am - 1:30pm
Successful Requirements Gathering

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ATTENTION: This session requires advance signup to attend. For Online Schedule: Please utilize the RSVP link below the description to reserve your seat. For SXSW GO App: Use the RSVP 'Find a Timeslot' link. You must have a SXSW Interactive, Gold, or Platinum badge to attend, and, you must have an activated SXsocial account (social.sxsw.com) to reserve a seat. If you have any issues with signing up, please email support@sxsw.com. VERY IMPORTANT: Because of the limited space, we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the published start time of this session. If you have not checked in at the room you RSVPed for at least five minutes prior to the session start time, you may lose your seat to an attendee in the waiting list line.
Some experience planning or building technology projects.
What to Bring:
Pen & paper (or laptop if you prefer, but pen & paper is preferable).
There’s a common refrain at the end of unsuccessful projects: "The requirements weren't clear." Fingers get pointed, blame is thrown around, and no one is happy. But surely this has never happened to you right?
Gathering requirements is equal parts art and science, and the success of your entire project depends on doing it right. No matter what project methodology you're using, there are some simple rules that can help you collect and document the right information upfront, so that your team knows what to build and your client gets what they need (not just what they say they want). You’ll leave this interactive session armed with tools you can begin using immediately to make your next project a success.
We’ll cover topics ranging from active listening (a real-life Jedi mind trick!) to transparent note-taking to accounting for invisible stakeholders. With 15 years of experience working at digital agencies in a variety of roles for government, nonprofit and corporate clients, I understand requirements gathering needs from the user experience, development and business perspectives. And as an improviser and improv comedy teacher -- my improv workshop at SXSW in 2010 was voted an audience favorite -- I know how to keep things interesting.
Key takeaways from this session include:
- The most important thing to do before you start gathering requirements
- Techniques for getting the most out of stakeholder and user interview sessions
- How to discover what your client needs, not just what they want
- How to provide a framework for prioritizing features
- How to plan for adoption and buy-in from day 1
We’ll kick things off with a talk about best practices in requirements gathering - dos, don’ts and advanced combos (for you Mortal Kombat fans) - before moving on to more interactive exercises and discussion. I've given versions of this talk at various conferences and to the United Nations (seriously!) and it's chock full of actionable advice you can start using immediately.
The rest of the session will go as follows:
- Improv game to loosen us up and highlight the importance of active listening
- Small-group role-playing exercise where we practice requirements gathering on each other
- Lunch break, because you can’t gather requirements on an empty stomach
- Regroup and discussion from role-playing exercise
Q&A where you are encouraged to share specific real-world challenges and experiences and get advice from me and from other workshop participants.

View official listing on sxsw.com

avatar for Jordan Hirsch

Jordan Hirsch

Dir of Digital Strategy, Phase2 Technology
I am an experienced digital strategist and technical architect with a background in content management systems. I’ve been working with nonprofit, government, and corporate clients for over 15 years to help them achieve success in their technology projects. In that time, I’ve learned... Read More →

Tuesday March 17, 2015 11:00am - 1:30pm CDT
JW Marriott Room 310-311

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