Monday, April 11, 2005

Delphi Technique for Breadth and Consensus in Requirements

I have been using a slightly bastardised version of the Delphi technique recently for some rapid requirements gathering and prioritising. Rather than the usual standard version where disonnant views are retained and ranked and re-ranked until stability appears (fine if you have plenty of time to build consensus), I've gone for a quick fix - send out a focused, open-ended questionnaire, retain all significant points and opinions, and then send the results back out to the review group to be ranked - use the initial ranking to prioritise the issues to be addressed (you could use MOSCOW or a larger sliding rating scale than 1,2,3 if greater shades of importance need to be considered) and there you have a decent case to start to develop your requirements from. I suppose that cherry-picking the first round of feedback goes against the grain of the technique in a way - but this feels like guerrila-delphi, just a quick-and-dirty "what do you think", "now rank it" - I think it fits in with the pre-project/requirements gathering process very nicely.

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