Document Analysis is a
technique used to gather requirements during the requirements elicitation
phase of a project.
It describes the act of reviewing the existing documentation of comparable business processes or systems in order to extract pieces of information that are relevant to the current project,
and therefore should be consider projects requirements.
Business analysts can elicit requirements in many ways.
Eliciting requirements from stakeholders using questionnaires, interviews,
or facilitating sessions is quite common.
However document analysis is particularly valuable when replacing one or more existing systems with a new system that will offer increased functionality or a better overall user experience.
Existing documentation can be scoured to gain an understanding of key functions, business rules, business entities, and business entity attributes.
Document analysis may also be necessary when stakeholders are not available to offer insight into existing business processes or systems.
Here is a list of potential documents that an analyst should consider reviewing based on their particular project type.
Business process and procedure documentation
Competing product literature and reviews
Requests for proposals
System defect reports
System specifications (of existing systems)
Vision documents for related projects