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How to Push Beyond the Role of Scribe in Requirements Elicitation

Picture of an open-air music performnce

I’m pleased to say that my most recent blog article has been published on “”, where I have contributed as a guest author. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take a look and add a comment on the site.


If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that watching music live is so much better than listening to recorded music.  I recently saw a number of bands play at an open-air concert and it reinvigorated my love for live music.  Being part of an audience and seeing a band in the ‘real world’ is second to none. Towards the end of the evening, the headline act came on and the crowd were buzzing.  As the act progressed, the glow of hundreds of iPhones lit up the audience.  Everyone (myself included) were trying to “capture the moment”, and in the connected world we live in, I wonder how many people were instantly posting the pictures and video to Facebook and Twitter.

The irony of course is that you really can’t  “capture” the feeling of live music by taking photos and recording video, and you certainly can’t capture it accurately with an iPhone.  At best, you’ll capture the vague feeling of what it’s like to be there.

Picture of an open-air music performnce
BAs are innovators not administrators!

As I thought about this, I put my phone away and decided to enjoy the concert and take in the sights and sounds, rather than capture pictures and videos as souvenirs.    It was great fun, and I enjoyed it more without the distraction of trying to get a good camera angle!

This got me thinking about requirements elicitation.  Sometimes, BAs are viewed as “scribes” – people who only listen to and record (write down) what stakeholders say.  In situations like this, stakeholders might have little appetite for answering a BA’s questions.  They might even try to push BAs into the “scribe” role…. (“Who are you to question my views? It’s my business”).  BAs become marginalised, and in a worst case scenario are seen as administrators rather than innovators…


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