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BA Techniques: Workshops

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Purpose

Workshops bring the stakeholders together in order to collaborate on achieving a predefined goal.

Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®)

The workshops are also called as the work sessions which is well-structured. The intensive workshop in which the facilitator that is the business analyst lead the participants to develop high quality work requirements or the products. It is one of the best technique to use if you want a high quality product within a short period of time. The product that a workshop produces are high quality because many people participate in the session, and the solution comes from everyone worked together. Different people bring different suggestions to the table and ask different questions as they come up with the solutions. The workshop technique can range from one to many hours. Workshop can also be defined as a facilitated event for getting carefully selected stakeholders together to discover, refine, prioritize, validate, and discuss the requirements. The skilled facilitator usually manages the workshop session.  

The workshop is a focused event attended by the key stakeholders and subject matter experts for a concentrated period of time. It is used to generate the ideas for new features or the products, to reach consensus on a topic, or to review the requirements. Workshop can promote trust, mutual understanding, and strong communication among the stakeholders and produce the deliverable that structure and guide future work efforts. It is ideally facilitated by an experienced, neutral facilitator, however a team member may also serve as a facilitator. Workshops generally include,

  • a representative group of stakeholders
  • a defined goal
  • interactive and collaborative work
  • a defined work product
  • a facilitator

Some of the articles related to Workshop techniques are as follows,

 

Some of the factors to be considered in conducting the workshops are,

  • Prepare for the Workshop - When preparing for the workshop, the business analysts,
  1. Define the purpose and desired outcomes
  2. Identify the key stakeholders to participate
  3. Create the agenda
  4. Determine how the output will be captured
  5. Schedule the session and invite the participants
  6. Send the agenda and other materials in advance to prepare the attendees and increase the productivity at the meeting.
  • Workshop Roles - There are several roles involved. They are,
  1.  Sponsor - They are not the participant in the workshop, but does have ultimate accountability for the outcome.
  2. Facilitator - They establishes a professional and objective tone for the workshop. It introduces the goals and agenda for the workshop, enforces structure, and ensure that all the participants have an opportunity to be heard.
  3. Scribe - It document the decision in the format determined prior to the workshops and keep track of the any items that are referred during the session.
  4. Time keeper - It may be used to keep track of the time spent on each agenda item.
  5. Participants - It includes the key stakeholders and the subject matter experts. They are responsible for providing the input and view, listening to the other views, and discussing about the issues. 
  • Conduct the Workshop - It is used to ensure that all the participants have a common understanding, facilitators generally begin the workshop with a statement of its purpose and desired outcomes. Throughout the workshop, the facilitator maintains the focus by frequently validating the sessions activities with the workshops purpose and outcomes.
  • Post Workshop Wrap-up - After the workshop, the facilitator follow up on any open action items that were recorded at the workshop, complete the documentation, and distribute it to the workshop attendees and any stakeholders who need to be kept informed of the work done.

 

workshop

 

Benefits of using the Workshop technique are,

  • It can be a means to achieve agreement in a relatively short period of time..
  • Costs are often lower than the cost of performing multiple interviews
  • Feedback on the issues can be provided immediately by the participants.

Some of the books for Workshop techniques are,

 

 

Written by Bharath Ravi

Business Consultant whose qualification includes a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Mechanical specialized in Automobile & Manufacturing; Trained in Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Certification, Hands on Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis, BCS (UK) and Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE-FL).

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