David Housman

How to Take Requirements like Avinash Kaushik


Some of us learn Web Analytics. Others, like the great Avinash Kaushik have been balling with Omniture since the day he was born. Here’s what you can do to be like Mack Daddy Kaushik:

Immature Mature Avinash Kaushik
Tailoring to stakeholders None. Everyone gets the same questions. Considerate of the stakeholder’s role and background. Touches on themes and hot button issues that the stakeholder cares about. None needed. Working with Avinash is like wearing your favorite Snuggie in front of a warm fire as your partner of 10 years holds your hand.
Relation to solution design Waterfall. Solution is designed based on information collected in the interview. Coincident. During the interview, the analyst considers potential data collection designs, and asks clarifying questions of the stakeholder to find the optimal design for the task. Subconscious. Neo:Matrix :: Avinash:Web Analytics.
Intuition Little. The analyst understands the request and measures what he is asked. The analyst recognizes the objectives of the request and prescribes metrics that the stakeholder may need. Instinct. Avinash’s favorite method of requirements gathering is staring deeply into the eyes of his stakeholders. On more than one occasion, this has resulted in the stakeholder’s head exploding.
Manner The analyst demonstrates good communication fundamentals. The conversation focuses on needs and reports. The technical layer remains hidden. Everything junior and… Considers the personality and mood of the subject. Encouraging, Knows when to push for more specific answers. Maintains an encouraging tone. Communication takes place by bullhorn while standing on an available desk or chair. Recommendations are punctuated with tasteful references to Kim Jong Il, certain minor genocides, and environmental disasters as needed to drive the point home.
Active vs. Passive Pasive. The analyst informs the decision. Active. The analyst informs the decision criteria and the decision. Very active. Fun fact: Avinash was the original inspiration for the Red Power Ranger.
At the end of the interview “Thanks for building this feature. It will be really helpful to me” “Thanks for building this feature. This discussion was really helpful to me.” “RAAAAAAA! I am Avinash the Magnificent! Bring me your children so that I may feed on their souls.”

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