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Defining and Managing Business Requirements


Understanding and articulating business requirements is the weakest link in projects. Using realistic cases, practice discovering, understanding and documenting clear and complete business requirements that can speed development, reduce maintenance and delight customers.

Who Should Attend

  • Project managers
  • Business and systems analysts
  • Business managers and product owners
  • Engineering and systems managers and professionals
  • Quality/testing professionals and auditors

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Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Discover the REAL business requirements that provide value when met
  • Identify the differences between business and product requirements
  • Use the powerful Problem PyramidTM to identify and solve the right problem
  • Avoid the main source of scope creep that causes most project overruns
  • Gather data, spot the important things, and interpret them meaningfully
  • Distinguish appropriate formats for analyzing and documenting business requirements
  • Apply techniques and tools to manage requirements changes and traceability
  • Define the important requirements so everyone understands them the same way
  • Gain immediate results to take back to your daily applications
  • Network with others to collaborate on real world challenges/solutions

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Course Outline/Topics

Requirements Role and Importance
• How requirements produce value
• Two places for requirements in project success
• Project manager vs. business analysis roles
• Survey on improving requirements quality
• Sources and economics of system errors
• Business vs. product/system/software requirements
• How mistaken models create creep
• Software packages and outsourcing

Discovering "REAL" Requirements
• Do users really not know what they want?
• How the "REAL" requirements may differ
• Understanding the business needs
• Horizontal processes and vertical silos
• Customer-focused business processes
• Powerful Problem Pyramid™ tool
• Aligning strategy, management, operations
• Technology requirements vs. design
• Who should do it: business or systems?
• Joint Application Development (JAD) limits
• System design vs. preferred practices

Data Gathering and Analysis
• Interviewing
• Surveys and questionnaires
• Research and existing documentation
• Observing/participating in operations
• Prototyping and proofs of concept
• Focus groups
• Requirements workshops (JAD)
• Organizing and understanding

Formats to Aid Understanding
• Business rules, structured English
• E-R, data flow, organization diagrams
• Responsibility matrices
• Data model
• Performance, volume, frequency statistics
• Sample inputs, reports, screens, menus

Formats for Documenting and Communicating
• IEEE standard for software requirements
• Use cases, strengths and warnings
• 7 guidelines for documenting requirements
• Requirements vs. implementation scope
• Iterating to avoid analysis paralysis
• Conceptual system design solutions
• Detailing for clarity, clarifying quality

Getting More Clear and Complete
• Some of the 21+ ways to review requirements
• Identifying all the stakeholders
• Addressing relevant quality factor levels
• Independent expert validation

Managing the Requirements
• Incorporating traceability
• Supporting and controlling changes, tools
• Measuring the "proof of the pudding"

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This program can be applied toward the:

"The Problem Pyramid will be very helpful in my job and the case study used in class was very beneficial. Robin answered questions very thoroughly."
Jim Mertz, Rauland-Borg Corporation

Mon.-Tue., Apr. 13-14
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Robin Goldsmith
CEUs: 1.4/PDUs: 14/PDHs: 14/CDUs: 14
Program No. 5025-7403
Register Now
Thu.-Fri., Nov. 18-19
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Robin Goldsmith
CEUs: 1.4/PDUs: 14/PDHs: 14/CDUs: 14
Program No. 5025-8001
Register Now
For more information, contact:
Maribeth Sacho, Program Associate,, 414-227-3337
Anne O'Meara, Program Director,, 414-227-3311


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