What Is It
Requirements Capture is not a single technique, but a broad category of techniques such as:
- Focus Groups
- User Stories
- Use Cases
How It Works
Whatever exact methodology you are using, the aim is to meet stakeholders and try to capture their Internal Models in written form. This has a few effects:
- The Internal Models of the development team can be enriched with this new information.
- You are capturing at a moment-in-time what people thought.
- As with any Documentation, you can to some extent reconcile the Internal Models of a wide variety of stakeholders and implementers.
See also: Terms Of Reference
Feedback Loops / Risks Mitigated
Requirements Capture is itself a process of Meeting Reality, and in a limited way: rather than speculatively building a piece of software and trying it out on the world, Requirements Capture allows us, cheaply, to go and see what the world thinks it wants, which is much cheaper, but perhaps less accurate.
Asking people what they want is often a way to reduce Feature Risk by stopping you building the wrong thing.
The feedback loop for any design is review. You can also follow review with Sign Off.
Steve Jobs - people don’t know what they want until they see it.
Elizer Yodowski - what exactly is a MVP.