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9 GATHERING THE REQUIREMENTS > REQUIREMENTS ELICITATION - Pg. 156

BUSINESS ANALYSIS REQUIREMENTS ELICITATION In the early days of systems analysis, this activity was often known as `requirements capture'. The word `capture' implies the existence of discrete entities called `require- ments' that were readily available to be spotted and caught. In those days most IT projects were concerned with developing systems that would perform the tasks then being carried out by people, mostly clerical staff. To some extent, each task performed by a person could be regarded as a requirement, or a set of requirements, to be delivered by the system ­ so requirements capture was not an unreasonable term for the process. Nowadays the rationale for developing or enhancing IT systems includes a need to help the organisation gain a competitive advantage, to support new business processes or to support a business process re-engineering exercise. The more straightforward approach of using the current procedures as a basis has declined, and hence there is a strong likelihood that the business users will not be at all clear about what they need the system to provide. The term `capture' is less suited to the reality of today's business world, and has been superseded by `elicitation'. Whereas earlier methods placed the onus on the business user to identify the requirements, requirements elicitation is a proactive approach to understanding requirements. It involves drawing out the requirements from the users and help-