A common refrain of the Agile movement is that “you can’t predict future requirements”, but it’s one I’ve never completely agreed with. Can you predict 100% of future requirements, 100% of the time, with 100% accuracy? No. But that does not mean for certain that you can’t predict some likely future requirements and design your solution so that you can either include those capabilities in your initial solution design, or define your solution architecture in such a way that adding those capabilities in the future is much easier, quicker, and less costly than they might otherwise be if you made no attempt to include them from the beginning.
And while it’s fine for me to say that, the question is how might you go about determining some future requirements or some future events that may drive future requirements in a systematic, thoughtful way?
Luckily, there is a technique from the field of Futures Studies (that is also used in Social Studies, Political Sciences, and other fields) that is both useful for Business Analysis work and relatively easy to execute. That technique is the Futures Wheel.
Of course, like many Business Analysis techniques that are “relatively simple” to execute, the true value comes from the expertise and effort of those who execute the technique. But it’s a technique I rarely see discussed by other Business Analysts, Project Managers, or others in related fields. So give the new wiki page a look if you are interested and see if it might be something you want to try.
And as always, feedback is appreciated. 🙂