Requirements Elicitation—the Social Media Way

Stefano Rizzo, Polarion Software

Agile methods have proven their ability to improve project success rates. However, when agile methods are applied to complex projects, we need to further explore the area of effective customer involvement. According to the agile philosophy, the users must be part of the development team. But, Stefano Rizzo asks: What if there are thousands of users with good ideas dispersed around the globe and around the clock? Can a Product Owner really represent all their interests? At Polarion, Stefano says they have used social media to successfully couple agile methods with more traditional requirements elicitation approaches. After hosting some user conferences, they created a community of users, project managers, and developers. Soliciting and nurturing their discussions regarding the product has created a lot of fuel for requirements definition and refinement process. Key benefits include the involvement of more stakeholders, a better company reputation, and the ability to harvest unusual requirements and unsolicited feedback that are helpful for the release strategy and product usability

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