Given our expanded concept of requirements as expectations, the following tips help in ensuring that your clients ' expectations have been fully understood .
Become a Culture Vulture
You must understand the business culture of your clients. Spend time talking with various people from the client's business area and people from other business areas who work with the client's area. Check out factors such as these:
Check out the Scenery
The physical working environment and cultural space in which the client's people work can often give you major clues about their culture and attitudes. Look at things such as these:
Learn Their Language
Listen to how your business client speaks and the jargon used when talking about work and private issues. The key issue here is to always ensure that you understand what their terms and jargon mean. Get used to saying something like "I want to get a better understanding of what you just said. Could you please go over it again for me?" Focus on the following:
Say It Once, Hear It Many Times
Finally, never interview a client about expectations by yourself. Most people get overloaded during these types of sessions and either misunderstand or simply don't hear certain parts of the interview. At a minimum, have two people discuss requirements. One can ask the questions and focus on the interview process and the other team member can document the interview and follow up on certain issues. Always summarize your understanding of what was said in the interview and send it back to your client for confirmation. Use of tape recorders and so on would depend on the client's culture.
The best option is RAP sessions, which involve the client, other stakeholders, and the project team determining the scope, objectives (functional requirements), quality requirements, constraints, and added value for a project through intensive team-based techniques.
You must meet your client's expectations rather than just their requirements. Doing this requires you to get to know your clients as people first and as clients second: