Pre-Sales RE – Pt 4: Mitigating Secondary Risks – The Requirements Engineering Risk Responses

Miller Heiman addresses nearly all of the pre-sales risks, while at the same time, introducing new ones. Risks like these are also known as secondary risks which are introduced by risk responses to other risks [1]. However, for the case of Miller Heiman these can be handled in turn by typical requirements engineering activities or strategies.

  1. No documentation guideline: while Miller Heiman provides a questioning framework it does not provide any guidelines on how to document the results. User stories [4] may prove to be useful. They employ a common format and can be handed over easily to the delivery unit to give them a jump start. These should be complemented by the “five whys” [5] which allow to track down the root cause which helps revealing and documenting the original discrepancy.
  2. No glossary: Miller Heiman does not prescribe creating a glossary for the terms used by the customer. Yet, these are an integral part of his concept. In order to avoid misunderstandings leading to false effort estimates it is strongly recommended to create one.
  3. No scoping guideline: the scoping is left to the skills of the one using the questioning framework. There is no guideline or tool section guiding the scoping process. Yet, scoping is ultimately needed to deliver precise efforts estimates. System and context have to be defined and documented which turns out to be even more important than researching the details for each single use case at this point.
  4. Only Kano performance attributes: the way Miller Heiman works, i.e., with its questioning framework, entails that only Kano performance attributes [6] get recorded while missing especially basic attributes which might account for a lot of extra effort. There are two ways to mitigate this risk: one is transparency by documenting the elicitation method and using increased risk buffers. Another is to complement further methods and techniques capturing additional attributes, e.g. observations.

Once secondary risks have been taken care of, this joint pre-sales requirements engineering approach promises to deliver reliable results while securing the pre-investment and handing over a win-win contract to the delivery unit.

Previous: Pre-Sales RE – Pt 3: Mitigating Primary Risks–The Sales Risk Responses
Next: Pre-Sales RE – Pt 5: Conclusions

Christoph Oemig

Christoph Oemig

studierte Medieninformatik mit dem Schwerpunkt Mensch-Computer Interaktion und Betriebswirtschaft in Wedel und Furtwangen. Er ist IREB Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE), IIBA Certfied Business Analysis Professional (CBAP), UXQB Certified Professional for Usability and User Experience (CPUX) und gestaltet als Lead Business Analyst bei der Deutschen Bank die anforderungstechnischen Belange im Bereich Cash und Selbstbedienung. Er ist Mitglied der Fachgruppe Requirements Engineering der Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) sowie des Berufsverbandes der Deutschen Usability und User Experience Professionals (German UPA) und regelmäßig Referent auf Tagungen und Konferenzen zu Themen des Requirements Engineerings, der Business Analyse sowie dem Usability Engineering.
Christoph Oemig

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