ILT: Facilitating Requirements Gathering Workshops – Simply Put!

Techniques for Planning, Preparing, and Conducting Effective Requirements Elicitation and User Story Workshops

Course Duration: 2 Days (14 PDU/CDU)

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Course Overview

Requirements Gathering Workshops for IT Projects

For high-priority and time-critical change initiatives, getting the right set of initial requirements fast is crucial. Requirements are the essence of the project. If they are wrong or missing, the project will fail.

Requirements Gathering Workshops help you analyze a business situation, identify business problems, and define potential solutions quickly. Facilitated Requirement Gathering Workshops are highly effective with any Software Development Methodology (SDM). For Agile projects, they define Business Goals and Objectives, Themes, Business Epics, and User Stories to seed an initial Product Backlog. For traditional, waterfall approaches, they capture comprehensive Business, Stakeholder, and Solution Requirements to create a Requirements Definition Document that the business community and the solution providers both understand.

This scenario-based seminar presents tools, techniques and insights based on the collective experiences of many successful Requirements Gathering Workshop facilitation teams. It offers tools and techniques that will shorten the time needed to create and achieve consensus within a cross-functional group. The presented techniques are the core of any of Requirements Gathering Workshops under a number of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JAD/r, and many more) for organizations large and small around the world.


Target Audience

The material in this course will benefit anyone involved in , including (but not limited to):

  • Business Analysts
  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Agile Product Owners
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Line Managers
  • Systems Analysts
  • Software Testers
  • Solution Architects
  • AND "anyone wearing the business analysis hat"

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this skill-building experience, you can:

  • Distinguish between types of requirements, user stories, and use cases
  • Adapt a check-list of pre-meeting activities
  • Prepare the participants for a Requirements Gathering Workshop using effective email or instant messaging communication methods
  • Organize and schedule Requirements Gathering or User sStory Workshops
  • Use standard requirements gathering questionnaires to structure the meeting
  • Organize and analyze the visible results of the workshop
  • Create and sustain a productive workshop environment
  • Develop contingency plans for dealing with unexpected situations
  • Evaluate a session to improve the process
  • Apply 5 methods for maintaining the project momentum after the session
  • Plan to incorporate selected techniques to improve your performance on the job

Course Outline

1 Introduction to Workshop Facilitation

The Challenge of Requirements Workshops

  • Dealing with Reality
  • Why Do Projects Take So Long?
  • Common Application Development Approaches
  • What is a Requirements Gathering Workshop (RGW)?
  • Roles in an RGW
  • The Pros and Cons of RGWs
  • Before and After the RGW
  • Risks of Acceleration

2 Methodologies and Requirements Workshops

SDM and Requirements Elicitation

  • Of Parallel Universes
  • Chaotic Analysis
  • Structured Analysis
  • Object-Oriented Development
  • Agile Development
  • Exercise: Roadmap to Success

A Generic Methodology

  • Activity Scheduling Form
  • Project Activities
  • Define Business Need
  • Exercise: Structure Applied
  • RGW Scheduling Form
  • RGW Applications and Focus

3 Preparing for a Requirements Workshop

Documents of Workshop Preparation

  • Evolution of an Effective Workshop
  • Exercise: A 15-Minute Workshop Planner
  • Documents of Workshop Preparation
  • Exercise: Participant Selection
  • Workshop Invitation Contents
  • Exercise: Creating Effective Invitations
  • Sample Invitation Contents
  • Time Versus Depth

Preparing an Effective Agenda

  • Preparing an Effective Agenda
  • Activity Dependencies
  • Activity Dependencies
  • Setting and Managing Expectations
  • Sample Agenda Format
  • Exercise: Sequencing Workshop Activities

4 Managing the Workshop

Breaking the Ice

  • Your Assignment, Mr. Phelps
  • Sample Icebreakers
  • Exercise: Selecting the Right Icebreakers

Assigning Group Work

  • The Momentum Challenge
  • Exercise: Maintaining Momentum
  • Assigning Group Work
  • Debriefing Group Assignments

5 Managing the Deliverables

Managing RGW Deliverables

  • Preparing Workshop Documentation
  • Exercise: Leveraging the Documentation Advantage
  • Restructuring Deliverables to Increase Productivity
  • Example of Activity-Based Formatting
  • Maintaining Group Memory

Increasing Participant Productivity

  • Exercise: Managing the Workshop Facilities
  • Workshop Equipment
  • The Last Commandment

6 Developing the Facilitation Team

Profile of a Facilitation Team

  • Exercise: Skills Comparison
  • Basic Behavioral Concepts
  • Motivational Needs
  • Motivations Classified
  • Motivated to Lead?
  • Motivated to Analyze?

Leveraging Diverse Thinking and Behavioral Styles

  • Thinking Styles Exposed
  • Thinking on Your Feet?
  • Thinking Under Pressure?
  • Behavioral Styles
  • Behavioral Styles Revealed
  • Leadership Behavior?
  • Well Behaved Analyst?
  • Balancing Behavioral Styles

Leading Workshops under Pressure

  • Leadership Styles
  • Leadership Styles Defined
  • Facilitator Style?
  • Analyst Style?
  • Exercise: Identifying Strengths and Challenges

7 Dealing with Difficulty

Meeting Murphy and Fighting Back

  • Dealing with Murphy
  • Discussion: Equipment Dependencies
  • What’s Wrong with This Picture?
  • Everything Takes Longer Than You Think
  • Exercise: Everything Takes Longer Than You Think
  • Problem People or People Problems
  • Exercise: Dealing with People Issues
  • Discussion: Creepy Scope

8 Closing the Working Session

Closing the RGW in Style

  • Critical Success Factors
  • Assigning Open Issues
  • Post-Meeting Task List
  • Staying In Touch
  • Exercise: 3-Minute Meeting Evaluation

9 From Showtime to Go Time!

Personal Improvement Plan

  • Understanding the Learning Curve
  • Developing Your Personal Implementation Plan

Additional Information

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