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I am interviewing for a trainee BA position and they have given me this scenario to answer. I am not sure on the correct questions to ask and how to develop a requirements spec based on what is provided.

Please can you guys assist me

Scenario:

Burger-24 is a Burger shop which delivers Burgers 24/7 They are asking to build a website where customers can log their orders and pay, mainly for reducing the telephone calls that are currently the only method for ordering Burgers, and are time-consuming for Burger-24 staff You are a Business Analyst at the company that was hired to build the website. You were tasked to gather requirements for the website and create a specification / requirements page that will be clear both for the developer(s) who will build the website, as well as for Burger-24 owner to understand and approve. 1. Describe the process of gathering the requirements you are planning to take. What kind of questions you are planning to ask? What considerations need to be taken? (from a BA point of view) 2. Please create the specification based on the current information given

for part 1.. I can only think of asking the owners to give more details of the current issues and how they wish the website to look and how it will solve the problem they are having

2) I am unsure of how the specification should be based on the current information

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    These kinds of interview questions are generally more about eliciting your thought process than about a canonical answer. As such, evaluating your answer is a subjective process for the interviewer; I'm not entirely convinced that it can be answered meaningfully by anyone else. I'm interested to see how the rest of the community feels about it, though. – Todd A. Jacobs Jun 17 '17 at 16:56
  • if you was the interviewer what kind of responses will you be looking for? – Laura Jun 17 '17 at 17:49
  • Regarding 1), it's about kinds of questions, so I believe a kind of structure is expected from you. I think a few fields and related questions are obvious, no? – loom with a crew Jun 18 '17 at 17:32
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    +1 to CodeGnome. They are trying to see the approach that you will take to it and part 2 is probably about how clearly you can express those specifications. There probably isn't really a "right" answer. One piece of advice for part 2 might be (if it is allowed) to have someone role-play it with you where you actually ask someone the questions you have and let them give some answers, then how to express what they say for part 2 is up to you. That probably won't give you a complete answer, but may get you started. Good luck! – Daniel Jun 19 '17 at 7:07
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    Agreed with many. There's no "correct" answer to this question, but knowing a few frameworks/methodologies (and knowing when to apply which) will help your answer. Have a look at Impact Mapping, User Story (XP), Design Thinking, etc. Knowing the background of the company, which I believe you... do, otherwise I would question why you chose to apply, would help too (for example, if the company applies Lean Startup practices, you can match their expectation better). – yclian Jun 24 '17 at 14:51
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As noted in the comments you are really looking for the approach and thought processes of your candidate. Essentially you are looking for quality analysis (you are hiring a business analyst) and strong clear communication skills to engage positively with other people and communicate accurately and clearly. So the three areas are

Analytical Investigation. I look for 3 main strengths in their analytical questions.

  1. Holistic Understanding. Understanding of the business scenario. Do they ask questions targetted at ensuring the understand the overall business objective of the requirements. "Are we picking from a set list of burgers or can people construct their own?"
  2. Breadth. Understanding the full scope of the solution. Do they ask questions targetted at understanding the full scale of functionality required. "Do users require account and profile management? Do they need to reset passwords? Do we need their email address?"
  3. Depth. Understanding the specifics of individual requirements. Are they asking questions to get a the details of what a particular requirement means. "Does burgers 24 mean the site has to up and running 24 by seven 365 days a year?"

Requirements Documentation I want to ensure they know how to express technical systems requirements so I look for to see two main skill areas.

  1. Data. In my opinion you cannot efficiently work in systems analysis, requirements gathering or solution design without understanding the fundamentals of data structures and how to represent real world entities and processes in a datamodel. Are they expressing the requirements for storing information in a logical organised fashion. "Burgers have the following attributes: type of bun, price.." Do they understand and express the basics of cardinal relationships between entities? "Each burger can have multiple of the following ingredients."

  2. Featurizing. Do they understand how to break the requirements out into a logical list of individual features required? If they cannot do this then someone else has to "Feature A: Users will have the ability to log in. Feature B: Users will have the ability to reset their password."

Communication and Interpersonal Skills. I want to ensure they are a good clear communicator and easy to talk to.

  1. Clarity. Is what they are saying clear and easy to understand. It's not enough that they themselves understand the problem they need to be able to efficiently ensure everyone else does. You need to be careful here as if you only have interviewers who already understand the business problem and are senior they may assume that because they understand it was well explained. It's often better to ask them to describe something they are an expert on and you are not. I try to get candidates to explain the details from a previous project or system they have worked on that we (the interview panel do not know).

  2. Interpersonal Skills. Are they easy to get on with? Is it pleasant and fun talking to them? Aside from the obvious bias I personally have that I want to work with nice fun people, there is a core need for business analysts that the user community happily talk to and engage with. I've seen too many projects get into trouble because the delivery teams failed to establish trust and rapport with their customers and Business Analysts are often needed to be the friendly face of a technical delivery team.

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Generally, think in this way, what, why, when, who, how, and after the answer of the each of above, ask those 5 again to dig deeper.

  1. Describe the process of gathering the requirements you are planning to take. What kind of questions you are planning to ask? What considerations need to be taken? (from a BA point of view)

a. what kind of food Burger-24 is selling besides burger?(food category of the website)

b. when customers usually order and what food they order most(home page food to show in different time)?

c. what payment sources does customers use?(check out use paypal or credit card)

d. why customers will use website instead of calling number?

e. what is the conversations when customers call? (form to be show when ordering through website)

f. how do you deliver food? (should we show real time location of delivery)

  1. Please create the specification based on the current information given

a. website should display food

b. users can select food, calculate the total, tax and sub total.

c. users can pay through one kind of payment sources.

d. and more more on website loading speed, security, theme, style.

  • The methods of asking the questions should also include who to ask the questions and also other tactics like ordering (online) from the competition to see their specs. And I'd consider asking questions and investigating feasibility (with tech team) advanced features like promotions, customer interaction history (what did he order last time, does he want to try the other menu?), etc. – Gürkan Çetin Sep 15 '17 at 20:00

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