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Monday, February 18, 2008
The last thing a systems engineer wants to ask a client during a requirements gathering process or JAD session is "So what features or capabilities do you need?". If the client knows what they need, there is no reason to hire a systems engineer.... right?
So how can an SE find out what a client needs? Asking for what the problems are is probably the first questions an SE needs to bring up. Identifying the problems, the root-cause for these problems, the severity, history and impact are the questions the clients need to hear. Clients understand very well their problems, they usually have a slight idea or thought on potential solutions, and in many cases don't. But all clients will know what their problems are, or at least will be able to explain the manifestations of a problem.