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Facilitating a Requirements Workshop

The art of bringing people together, face-to-face or remotely, to elicit requirements, make decisions, and gain consensus on solutions is a critical success factor for teams. This course offers facilitation skills training that can be used for structured requirement workshops and facilitating a small informal group to a decision. This course goes beyond traditional facilitation training by focusing on facilitation techniques specific to gaining a shared understanding of requirements in person or with remote participants. Five job aids are provided as valuable after class resources as participants begin preparing and conducting their facilitated sessions.

Facilitation Skills Classroom Experience

Students will spend 60% of class time participating in interactive, real-world business case studies and performing each key role in at least one session. Each student will have the opportunity to practice facilitating multiple requirements sessions in a “safe” environment with personalized feedback.

The workshops in this course require students to plan the requirements workshop, develop the correct questions to ask the group, and facilitate the group to a consensus on the requirements using one of the learned techniques. This course supports and expands on the techniques in the IIBA BABOK® Guide and the ICAgile’s Agile Value Management track.

Learning Objectives

  • Facilitate using proven techniques for eliciting detailed business, functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Identify when and how to use each technique.
  • Develop confidence and a skill set to conduct requirements workshops, whether face-to-face or with remote participants.
  • Actively practice learned skills and techniques.
  • Use a requirements planning session template.
  • Prepare the participants for the requirements session.
  • Perform each facilitation role through role playing each session.
  • Conduct the session to stay focused on the core requirement that was planned as a deliverable.
  • Select which facilitation technique to use for each core requirement being gathered.
  • Complete checklists for managing and conducting the session.
  • Facilitate a requirements workshop including remote participants (if desired).

Outline

Introduction

  • Define requirements facilitation
  • Define participant roles
  • Learn guidelines for requirements facilitators
  • Explore techniques for facilitating across distance
1.5 hours

Student Workshop

  • Conduct a mini-requirements workshop. 
  • Practice techniques used for requirements workshops.
2.5 hours
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Session Feasibility

  •  Determine when requirements workshops are appropriate:
  • Review the core requirements components and discuss how they are best gathered
  • Learn when not to use requirements workshops
  • Student Workshop: Practice determining session need using real-world scenarios.
  • Learn facilitation techniques:
    • Brainstorming
    • Consensus building
    • Visualizing
      • Flowcharting
      • Storyboarding
2 hours

Student Workshop

  • Lead a session to teach and utilize various facilitation techniques as assigned by the instructor. 
  • Conduct individual sessions
  • Observe and give feedback for each session
5 hours

Planning and Preparing for a Facilitated Session

  • Plan the session
  • Prepare for a session:
    • Outline the goals and requirements deliverables.
    • Select session participants and determine if pre-session interviews are appropriate.
  • Student Workshop: Utilize the Session Plan Summary Template, Session Plan Template, and Session Agenda Template to plan and prepare for a facilitated session.
2 hours

Conducting the Session

  • Learn the stages of group development/productivity
  • Facilitate decision making – work toward consensus
  • Conduct the session:
    • Utilize a checklist for managing the session
    • Set session rules and manage the session
      • Encourage participation
      • Manage group focus
      • Learn reactive techniques to use during the session
    • Create a follow-up action plan
  • Follow up on the session:
    • Produce the final requirements document
    • Share session feedback
    • Determine the next steps to finalize the requirements
1 hour

Student Workshop

  • Conduct a requirements workshop using the plans developed in the prior student workshop. (May include remote participants if desired.)
  • Produce a requirements deliverable using one or more of the facilitation techniques learned in class.
  • Personal feedback will be provided to drive skill development
6.5 hours

Course Summary

  • Bringing it all together
  • Develop an Action Plan with next steps on the student’s current project
.5 hour

Appendix – Job Aids

  • Common Challenges for Virtual Meetings
  • Applying Elicitation Techniques in a Virtual World
  • Engaging Participants
  • Keeping Groups Focused
  • Ice Breaker/Energizer Tips
Optional