Review and expand negotiation topics

Stakeholders often enter a requirements negotiation with fuzzy and limited expectations and understandings of what can and should be done. This team activity tries to broaden their individual perspectives by asking them to elaborate, refine, and customize an outline of negotiation topics. In an EasyWinWin session stakeholders suggest modifications to the taxonomy of negotiation topics to reflect their own interests and culture. Stakeholders add comments about what might be missing in the taxonomy, or what should be removed from the taxonomy. This taxonomy of topics serves as both an organizing framework and a stakeholder checklist for WinWin negotiations. It becomes a useful way to organize the potentially hundreds of artifacts that emerge later in the process.

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Common high-level topics are system capabilities (features and services), interfaces (to the user and to other systems), system properties (‘non-functional’ aspects), project & process constraints (cost, schedule, development tools, support), and evolution (most likely directions of system change and growth). The facilitator adapts the taxonomy to the needs of the stakeholders and the high-level objectives listed in the negotiation purpose statement, which describes the prospective use of the results within the project.