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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Day 2 - Part II (Desired State Interviews)

Stakeholder profiling, detailed in the last post, is a part of gathering Architectural Requirements -- which come before the gathering of detailed requirements...

In dealing with stakeholders, it's best to interview more than less. Many times "transformative" information is available from those closer to the work in organizations (i.e. help desk worker). Err on the side of talking with too many people.

Always ask the question, is the person I am interviewing going to make a *difference* to the EA work?

In addition to Stakeholder Profiling, a Desired State Interview is recommended.

A desired state interview is more personal and focuses on the individual goals of the stakeholder. This is often done with two EA's present in the room with one stakeholder.

The following questions are typical:

1. What do you want? (now/future)
2. How would you like things to be (now/future)?
3. How do you know you have what you want (now/future)?
4. What is valuable to you?
5. What value do YOU get?
6. What value does the ORGANIZATION get?
7. What are key obstacles? What is getting in the way?
8. What is already right with the system? (key question)
9. What else is important to you?

Many things from the Desired State Interview may not end up in your requirements, but they do help the EA to know the stakeholder better. Also, there may be commonality that comes out from multiple interviews that signals additional requirements.

This also helps identify what the triggers are to make the architecture GOOD, RIGHT, and SUCCESSFUL.

This also helps an EA unfamiliar with an organization to understand the organization better (i.e. dotted line reporting relationships, etc.)

The process of gathering EA data is an ITERATIVE process, so stakeholders may be interviewed and the results shared over a period of time.


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