When do requirements gatherers stop learning business? When they are no more requirements gatherers! It is very much akin to picking tea leaves – it is time to start there at the other end of the plantation when you reach here.
Personally I find requirements a bit ephemeral as the elusive ‘ism’. I remember reading an Asterix piece and spotting a feature or two which had been missed completely early on. Each and every interaction with the user team or some business event throws open a new facet. A facet missed completely or had not been noticed before.
Learning is continuous , more so for requirements gatherers. One of the most recurrent situations where I have been able to grasp and understand the business minutiae has been during the process of restatement to some else wanting to understand the same . Restating – may be the obvious – is still a powerful way to learn.
Another situation extremely useful is to watch the first cut demo of the application with users. It is a veritable gold mine of expectations and fulfilment issues. Something a requirements gatherer would love to understand and straighten the puzzle.
Business vocabulary is another thing to master – speak the way the business user thinks – terminologies, usage, meaning and exclusions are dear to them. Get the correct inflection and it is time to resonate.