The following are the traditional approaches to requirement analysis, interviewing, questionnaires, direct observation and analyzing of documents. The system analysts to collect information mainly adopt them. The approaches are selected with different purposes; therefore, they are used in different tasks. The selection of the most appropriate one depends on the nature of the project, availability of prior knowledge also the resources of the project team involved. (Grady 2006)
Collection of data in requirement analysis is vital to the system developing team, since they are able to deliver properly to their users. It helps them to know how the users would like to improve their performance. Therefore, it gives them a feedback, whether their products are of any importance to their customers. The information the survey team gets helps to reduce the defects of the products.
An interview refers to a conversation between the two people, whereby the interviewer asks the interviewee questions to obtain information about a certain issue or problem.
An interview helps in expanding an interviewee response. Therefore, the interviewer gathers information relating to the user’s needs or problems. Interview, as a traditional approach to requirement analysis, provides the product developer with sufficient information about the importance and limitation of the analyzed product. (Zuckerman 2010)
In requirement analysis, interviewing is one of the primary ways of gathering information about a product in the software development. A reasonable requirement analysis in the software development requires an interview and seems to be incomplete without one. There are many ways of conducting an interview, but the most commonly, analyst accepts the following practices.
- Preparation to the interview in a careful manner, including appointments, questions, agenda, checklist and priming questions.
- Listening carefully and taking notes or tape recording during the interview.
- Reviewing of the notes or the tape recorder after the interview
- Being neutral
Questionnaires are also a traditional approach in requirement analysis. It is a research instrument that consists of a number of related questions and other prompts, which help to gather information from a respondent. In requirement analysis, the respondent is referred to as the user or the beneficiary. They are considered cheap, since they do not require much effort compared to other types of survey. They also have standardized answers that are easy to compile.
They are also less biased, compared to interviews, whereby the users may end up being bias on a certain issue on a product. It takes a short time to gather information about a product from different users or beneficiaries. In gathering information on the product, which is the software only one copy of the questionnaires, is used; therefore, it conducts an effective survey. One of the main advantages is that a questionnaire is supported by technology, in that it is easier to conduct them, for example, due to the availability of internet, the questionnaires can be posted on the internet. Posting of the questionnaires in the internet to gather information about new or altered software is much easier. The users who are accessing the software will give out their complains and opinion on about the software. Apart from that, the analyst gathers a lot of information on the software, since the number of users is many on the internet. However, the questionnaires can be exceedingly difficult when designing them, and also respondents may be carless in answering the questions in the questionnaires. Therefore, the questionnaires might end up giving out the wrong information about the software.
When conducting a software development analysis, a questionnaire design is needed, which has a concern on the following issues:
- The ambiguity of questions
- There should be the consistency of respondents’ answers.
- The question that should be applied, open-ended or closed-ended?