TBAC 013 | Author Cast : How to conduct an effective requirements workshop

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo3

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If I ever decided to climb the Mt. Everest I would first of all be out of my mind, but once I regain my composure I would look up at my mentor for some consolation and support. If my mentor is Sir. Edmund Hillary, I would certainly be more confident, engaged and have a stronger desire towards this adventure. I would actually have some hope and will think that the universe-will-conspire-for-my-victory adage to have some credibility.

Who would be the best person to learn the ingredients of a successful requirements workshop effectively?

What about the Author of Requirements by Collaboration? That is what precisely this episode was created for. In this episode, Ellen and I walk through the elements of conducting an effective requirements workshop, and trust us, it is much easier than ascending the worlds tallest mountain.

 In the last episode of Author Cast, Ellen and I talked through the two books she has authored. In this episode, we take a section from “Requirements by Collaboration” and discuss it at length to help you conduct a more effective requirements workshop.

Grab your stylus and let the learning begin:

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Here is a sneak peek of the episode:

  • Discussion around collaboration patterns
  • The importance of being neutral as a facilitator
  • First order of business is to have a shared purpose and how you can achieve that
  • What to do if the right people that need to be involved don’t have time?
  • Shared space and how it can help in collaboration
  • How to employ the focus questions strategy in workshops
  • What do you need to do to ensure you have all the required outputs from a workshop
  • Discussion around three types of trust
    • Contractual Trust
    • Communication Trust
    • Competence Trust
  • The importance of process variety in conducting workshops, and how to incorporate this
  • Closing comments and message from Ellen to all BAs on how to advance your skills as a facilitator

Insightful quotes from this episode:

“Don’t do that workshop unless those right people can be there… ”

“That is actually a smell that the organization is doing too many things… ”

“Face-to-face real-time workshops have the highest throughput..”

“… The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and each part is more than the fraction of the whole…”

“… The best facilitators, in an easy non pushy way,  draw diversity and wisdom… ”

“In parenting the greatest joy is stepping back and watching as the kids blossom… that is kind of like being a facilitator. ”

“The key thing in performing is to step back”

“Interject serious play throughout the workshop”

“Having a bit of levity with meaning is very powerful…”

“… it actually saves time to have trust…”

“We have to make time to build trust, it won’t happen by singing kumbaya.”

“What decision we will be making and what rules we will use and what process we use, and I like to practice it right in the beginning … it helps them to build trust in process…”

“When groups are arguing, ask a focus  question and just be quite…”

“To think well together we have to think well alone first… ”

“As a facilitator we need to ensure agenda flows with the decisions that need to be made.”

“Create a set of specific skills that you want to go after.  #1 skill of a good facilitator / great facilitator is observation. Next time ratchet up (a notch), take notes and be ready…”

Items mentioned in the show:

Ellen Gottesdiener in brief:

Ellen Gottesdiener is Principal Consultant and founder of EBG Consulting, Inc. Ellen has authored two books, numerous articles and contributed to several compilation books. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and an industry advisor. Ellen develops all the training material used by EBG Consulting. Since 1991 Ellen has provided a broad range of services to EBG clients including consulting, mentoring, facilitation and training. Prior to founding EBG, Ellen spent 13 years as a manager, team leader, developer, and trainer with a major insurance and financial services organization.

If you have any comments or questions for this episode, please post them below.

Enjoy the show and don’t forget to spread the word about this awesome episode using the social sharing links.


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Article by

Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

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3 Responses to “TBAC 013 | Author Cast : How to conduct an effective requirements workshop”

  1. […] honored to share my podcast with Yaaqub (Yamo) Mohamed of The BACoach. We discuss ingredients for effective requirements […]

  2. […] Understanding group dynamics and how to avoid group dysfunction.  I like the section on “serious fun“. […]

  3. […] 2- > Conducting Effective Requirements Workshop, AuthorCast with Ellen Gottesdiener […]

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