One of the biggest advantages of analytical workshops is the possibility of a mutual understanding with the client, who is usually only a voice on the phone or text in an email. This is a great opportunity to create a project specification together, as well as to prepare a preliminary list of questions before the development team starts. The workshops allow for collecting the most important information about the project and comparing the client’s expectations with real technological possibilities. Thanks to these meetings you can draw the most important essence from the project, get in touch with the client, and find out what they really need and what your team can do. Remember that people from different departments involved in the project should participate in the discussion. Consider that the perspective of a technical person differs significantly from that of an employee dealing with strictly business-related issues.
The golden mean – a lot of merit and a pinch of show
In contrast to a series of customary meetings, the workshops usually take the form of detailed planned events. It is up to you to set the tone – whether you introduce more casual elements or rather stay with the – associated with cold professionalism – seriousness. From a technical point of view, this is your time – you invite guests, so they must be ready for anything. You shouldn’t forget, however, that it’s still your clients, and that improperly conducted workshops can only accumulate misunderstandings, which they were supposed to prevent. So balance your moods, changing them according to the prevailing atmosphere.
A bit of brilliance
The specialists suggest various methods to break the ice with the client. Some recommend the use of creative games that refer to the project being developed. Others lean towards brilliant brainstorming focused on the problem you have to deal with together. It is worth hiring one person as a moderator who will relax the atmosphere a bit, introduce some order into the discussion and be able to organize scattered thoughts and ideas.
Unlike weekly or monthly meetings, which are often postponed, workshops give a chance for a condensed, interesting, and above all, effective work. If you manage the course of the event well, the client will come out satisfied and convinced that he has bet on the ideal player. You, in turn, will have more certainty than usual that your work is going in the same direction as the client thinks.
With teamwork you can also benefit from the event storming…
Event storming – from chaos, to perfect order
Event storming was invented by mentor, coach and IT specialist Alberto Brandolini (author of “Introducing EventStorming – An act of deliberate collective learning”). The method is based on teamwork, which results in the joint discovery and design of complex processes.
Event storming is a literal arrangement of the designed system into separate events and describing them on a series of cards (not necessarily only yellow ones – but we’ll get to that in a moment). Each piece of paper is a different event that occurs within the system. The participants’ task is to stick the pieces of paper on the board or wall. Once the space is filled with valuable knowledge, it is time to put the pieces of paper in such a way that they form chains of meaningful business processes. This gives an invaluable field to analyze the events taking place, improve them and remove weaker links.
They want to make their work more effective and at the same time satisfactory, it is worth to buy wholesale amounts of multicolored cards. Events of different colors will help to visualize each of the cells more easily: problems, external systems, commands, departments working on the system etc. This will create a task map that will be easy for your team to navigate, draw conclusions and improve the process.
Event storming – what is it for?
A properly conducted event storming workshop will allow you to better understand the system your team is working on. What’s more, it will guarantee that each of its members has the same vision of the problem being developed. Thanks to this creative play, there is usually a quick and effective exchange of knowledge leading to equal level of competence of programmers involved in the project. It is also an ideal moment to analyze any faults and think collectively about how to fix them. And finally, event storming is a great way to improve the system and lead it in a more satisfying business direction.
Each of the participants of the storming event automatically becomes a partner having the same important influence on the success of the whole process. This is no longer a relationship: the ordering party – the contractor. This type of workshop is one of the best examples of teamwork that brings really measurable benefits.