What role (if any) should QA play in the requirements review session??
I ask because I see benefits in QA 'facilitating' the review. For clarity, my definition of facilitating is ensuring that both parties are able to express all issues with any requirements. Also, that all raised issues are addressed and followed up after the review. This facilitation allows QA insight to all requirements during the generation process and allows us (QA) to raise any red flags to potential issues with requirements.
The role might involve more than mere facilitation. I'd say the task of verifying whether the requirements being reviewed actually map to the business needs powering the project might fall in the ambit of QA. One might term it as a kind of "due diligence".
["Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero!" -Horace]
Personally I really appreciate when I am involved in the Requirements planning. I find I am able to assist with defining needs and requirements which the company finds valuable. The down side is when I am involved the process takes about twice the time as it likely would were I not involved. I base this on the fact that generally this process is two meetings of about 1 hour each with my company. This process when I am involved generally consists of one 2 hour meeting and two 1 hour meetings.
When I am involved the requirements are defined to a greater level generally than if I had not been involved. In addition being involved in this stage allows me to know what the actual goal of the project is. Sometimes that is lost in the development stage. This knowledge can help in prioritizing bugs, and in developing test cases. In situations where time is short so as not to allow full testing the knowledge gained in this phase helps to prioritize testing.
If you are the type of person who can just sit back and take notes, it may be beneficial to be there for that. I personally have difficulty not asking questions that are going to have to be dealt with sooner or later.
There is often a need for a facilitator at these reviews, but it should not be QA, it should not be the Project Manager, in fact it should not be anybody involved in the project.
A facilitation role is to ensure that the process of the review is followed, that everyone has their say and the review is not dominated by one person, that notes are written up and followed up. You cannot perform that role effectively and participate in the review.
I often facilitate (I was trained in a previous company),but never in a project I am involved in - in that case I find someone independent.