Discovering More of What You Already See

Posted on July 30, 2012

For an initiative to be successful, the requirements of senior sponsors need to be understood, as well as those of the people who will utilize organizational outcomes. Performing this requirements collection successfully is critical for success – but many organizations do not do this effectively or efficiently. Most organizations boldly send a business analyst, subject matter expert or the project manager to work with the necessary stakeholders. This sounds reasonable, but significantly sub-optimises the use of people’s time, and the schedule for your initiative.

How can you fix this waste of time? Never send the “Lone Ranger” into a situation to collect requirements! Send a team of people, with different styles, to the same requirements collection event or interview. We all review situations with different filters and we “see” different things from the same scenario. This is highlighted quite profoundly by the various versions of the popular “gorilla video” that has spread across the internet. The Live Science study of the gorilla video ( highlights the lack of observation skills many of us have as human beings. We concentrate on things we believe are necessary or important, and we miss other things that are in plain sight (or in clear hearing). Sending a team of people maximises the amount of information that will be collected from any interview, enhancing the quality of the initiative, and maximizing the usage of time.

Are you making the most of your requirements collection exercises? Do you have team members with a diversity of expectations so you can collect more information from each of your gathering exercises? Bring multiple team members to the requirement collection exercise and watch your project quality increase.

Intelligent Disobedience Leadership provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on courageous leadership through intelligent disobedience. We can help you and your teams design a community of practice which leverages constructive “intelligent disobedience.” For further information, email us at