Lean Requirements

Software development requires that you understand both the big picture and the details.

A Lean approach to requirements balances these needs: When you understand the big picture, you can better manage development as the product evolves. By exploring details just in time, you improve focus and reduce waste.

The Lean Requirements Workshop helps you improve the skills you need to work with stakeholders to generate and validate quantifiable requirements. Such requirements work well with iterative development processes such as Test-Driven Development.

You will learn ways to prioritize requirements, plan releases, and gather faster feedback.

We will use two approaches to making this real:

  1. A running example involving analysis of a small but realistic project
  2. Refinement of requirements-related materials from your projects (current or recent). (Bring these materials for the workout on the last day.)


  • Day 1: Starting a Project
  • Background: Lean, Agile, and Lean Startups
  • Chartering: Setting the Team's Direction
  • Business Models: Understanding the Business
  • Day 2: Identifying Requeriments
  • Negotiating: Balancing Competing Needs
  • Ways to Identify Requirements
  • Describing Functions with User Stories
  • Day 3: Splitting and Testing Stories
  • Splitting User Stories for Iterative Development
  • Acceptance Tests to Clarify Requirements
  • Quantifying Quality Requirements
  • Day 4: Product Planning
  • Validating: Are We Doing the Right Thing?
  • Story Maps to Guide Product Plans
  • Final Workout: Applying These Ideas in Your Environment

Course Details

Knowledge: 40%, Skill-Building: 60%
Learning outcomes
  • Able to participate effectively in requirements development, collaborating to identify a minimum viable product and create an incremental release plan
  • Able to negotiate with stakeholders to balance tradeoffs effectively
  • Able to use a variety of techniques to gather requirements
  • Able to frame requirements in a way that enables effective development (User stories and tests for functional requirements and Quantified quality for non-functional requirements)
  • Able to refine and validate requirements using several different techniques
Method of Instruction
A mix of Interactive Dialogs, Exercises, Lectures, Live and/or Video Demonstrations, and Instructional Simulation
Target Audience
Primary: Programmers with 2-3 years experience
Secondary: Managers or more advanced programmers
Course Level
Course Prerequisites
Required: An open mind.
Highly Recommended: Basic understanding of the lifecycle of software projects; "Composing User Stories" eLearning. We encourage you to explore this material before and after class. During the classroom training, we will review highlights of stories and story writing, and cover about half the material on splitting user stories.


General Requirements

To ensure a successful class, we require the following:

  • VGA projector (1024x768 minimum)
  • Projector screen
  • Speakers (to connect instructor's machines. Sound should be audible to the whole class)
  • White board
  • Dry erase markers
  • Flip chart and stand
  • Ample room for students in terms of room size and set up (prefer U-Shape seating)
Class Room Setup

To ensure a successful class, we require the following:

  • Preferred arrangement is small round tables with 6-8 people to support small-group discussion
  • Three additional flip-charts with stands (for small-group use)

Once an agreement for the workshop is confirmed, we will work with your designated contact to ensure a successful workshop setup.

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