What kinds of things do I need to consider when scheduling a requirements interview?

What kinds of things do I need to consider when scheduling a requirements interview?
You'll want to conduct the interviews in a well-informed, professional, businesslike manner. You'll very likely interview your key business stakeholders, and they'll be a lot more forthcoming with the information you need if they feel you aren't wasting their time, and that you're committed to helping them deliver the best possible solution for their needs. That means you'll need to do plenty of background work to prepare for the interview. An excellent approach to planning interviews is to consider the person, place, and thing:
  • Person: Decide whether to interview single individuals or small groups; then plan how you'll communicate with each person. Be sure to research and think about the role each person plays, and the special biases and personal perspectives they bring to the table. Try to get a feel for their communication style and schedule, so you can stage the interview in the best way to put them at ease.
  • Place: Decide where and when to hold the interview. Try to choose a place that allows the interviewee to relax and respond freely. Try to find a distraction-free environment, and schedule enough time to cover all the material.
  • Thing: Make sure you've thought about what you want to accomplish in the interview. What topic(s) will you cover? What questions will you ask? What's your goal for the interview? How will you know if you've successfully elicited all the requirements?

A requirements interview checklist will help you organize the interviews and ensure that you cover the required areas. The time you spend preparing will pay off in more productive interviews, more accurate and thorough requirements, and better credibility with your stakeholders.

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