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Discover Quality Requirements with the Mini-QAW

May 2016 Presentation
Will Chaparro (IBM), Michael Keeling (IBM Watson Group), Thijmen de Gooijer (ABB Corporate Research)

This session walks participants through a mini-QAW simulation, including scenario brainstorming with a system properties web, stakeholder empathy maps, and visual voting.


Software Engineering Institute




Good quality requirements help you make the right architectural decisions, but collecting your requirements is not always easy. The Quality Attribute Workshop helps teams effectively gather requirements but can be costly and cumbersome to organize. The mini-QAW is a short (a few hours to a full day) workshop designed for inexperienced facilitators and a great fit for teams practicing Agile methods. Variants of the mini-QAW exist for both face-to-face and remote collaboration. The mini-QAW method has been used successfully by several groups throughout the world and is finding its place as a standard tool among many software architects.

During this session, we will walk participants through a mini-QAW simulation. Participants will learn about and apply some of the core mini-QAW activities, including scenario brainstorming with a "system properties web," creating stakeholder empathy maps, and visual voting. The mini-QAW combines these activities with a tuned agenda (compared to the traditional QAW) to create a fast, effective, and fun workshop that many teams can easily adopt and succeed with. By the end of the session, participants will have gained first-hand experience facilitating and participating in the workshop that will let them use the method with their teams back home.