How to Be a Sounding Board For Ideas and Requirements

I’ve often found that the best requirements don’t always present themselves when expected or desired….you might schedule a full blown elicitation session or executive panel, but very likely someone is going to stop by your desk the day before (or after) the meeting with a great idea.  And they will want you to listen, respond, and write it up as if it happened “in the meeting.”

Great, but your brain is saying, but so-and-so is going to have something to say or this other person might not like it or “where is the business owner?”.  By the time you’ve thought about all of this, the person with the new idea probably already assumes that talking to you was enough to include that idea in scope.

Tracking ideas in an issues list or parking lot that gets reviewed by the requirements team can help give them visibility, but some ideas (and people) need a more personal touch. Oftentimes what this person is looking for is a preliminary audience for their idea.  They don’t want to take the risk of bringing it up in front of the whole group before they have tested it out.  So help them vet it and test it out a bit and find the right forum to get the idea in front of the larger audience. Or maybe the person simply doesn’t know how to make that idea happen and trusts you to help them.

Not all requirements will come out in your meetings.  Become a sounding-board for requirements, an audience for ideas, and find ways to help people get their voices heard.  Good business analysts don’t skip out on the required formalities within your organization that shuffle ideas into implemented features, but they do partner with others across the business to help tune their ideas and make their best ones realities.

>>Learn More About Discovering Requirements

What Questions Do I Ask During Requirements Elicitation?

How to Keep Your Elicitation Session from Going Off Track

Elicitation Techniques Used By Business Analysts

Free Training - Quick Start to Success

(Stop the frustration and earn the respect
you deserve as a business analyst.)

Click here to learn more

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.


  1. Mark Johnson says

    When I was looking for a UK Business Sounding Board I came across this article –

    The definitioo here was as follows;

    – “A Business Sounding Board is someone that allows a businessperson the freedom, time and space to talk openly about their challenges and opportunities, by means of quality questioning and active listening, and facilitates the discussion and exploration of their options in full, in total confidentiality.”

    I thought that was quite accurate in my view.



Before you go, would you like to receive our absolutely FREE workshop?

(No formal experience required.)


Quick Start to Success
as a Business Analyst

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.