Project Management

Plan and Facilitate a Requirements Workshop

From the Voices on Project Management Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Cyndee Miller
Lynda Bourne
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Christian Bisson
Yasmina Khelifi
Emily Luijbregts
Sree Rao
Soma Bhattacharya
David Wakeman
Jen Skrabak
Marat Oyvetsky
Ramiro Rodrigues
Wanda Curlee
Lenka Pincot
Jorge Valdés Garciatorres

Past Contributers:

Rex Holmlin
Vivek Prakash
Hajar Hamid
Dan Goldfischer
Linda Agyapong
Jim De Piante
sanjay saini
Bernadine Douglas
Judy Umlas
Abdiel Ledesma
Michael Hatfield
Deanna Landers
Alfonso Bucero
Kelley Hunsberger
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
William Krebs
Marian Haus
Shobhna Raghupathy
Peter Taylor
Joanna Newman
Saira Karim
Jess Tayel
Lung-Hung Chou
Rebecca Braglio
Roberto Toledo
Geoff Mattie
Dmitri Ivanenko PMP ITIL

Recent Posts

Increasing the Impact of Lessons Learned

Debunking 6 Myths About Volunteering

The Real Estimating Challenge Isn’t Calculating the Cost

Expect the Unexpected: Turning Unforeseen Issues into Opportunities

The Case for a Green Economic Recovery


Categories: Project Planning


Every project manager knows that there is no single best way to collect project requirements. 

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) -- Fourth Edition identifies several tools and approaches for collecting requirements. They include interviews and focus groups, facilitated workshops, group creativity and group decision-making techniques. 

Combining some of these tools and techniques with a requirements workshop can be the most efficient and effective requirements elicitation approach. But only if the workshop is planned and facilitated well.

Planning a requirements workshop is no different than planning any meeting or event. Some simple steps to follow:
 
1. Define the scope and establish an agenda 
The scope and agenda should make it clear to all participants the reasons why they are attending the workshop. 

2. Invite the right people 
Generally, you want to keep the guest list short, but make sure to invite key stakeholders. These include representatives from teams or user groups that will benefit from the project's outcome, project sponsors, product or system owners, and business and technical consultants. 

3. Plan the logistics 
To facilitate an open and constructive working session, make sure that the workshop's location and environment has sufficient capacity and appropriate equipment for hosting the workshop. 

Now that we have a good plan, how do we facilitate the workshop? 

1. Lay ground rules 
Establish basic ground rules. For example, start on time, stay in scope, and respect and build on other people's ideas. 

2. Gather requirements 
Get everyone involved through questioning and individual interviewing. Apply group creativity techniques, such as brainstorming and mind mapping. And for topics that require in-depth and focused discussions, organize dedicated breakout sessions. 

3. Record the workshop 
Make sure that someone attends the workshop solely to write the protocol during the workshop. He or she should capture all requirements, ideas, assumptions, risks and open items. 

4. Pre-qualify and pre-prioritize requirements 
To facilitate the scoping process at a later stage, try to leave a requirements workshop with pre-qualified and pre-prioritized requirements. 

5. Review the protocol and develop a follow-up plan 
At the end of the workshop, plan sufficient time to review the written protocol and the derived action items. Develop a follow-up plan to address the open items. Identify the owner of each item, and establish deadlines and next-steps. 

Do you hold requirements workshops? If so, how do you plan and facilitate them?

Posted by Marian Haus on: May 29, 2012 10:51 AM | Permalink

Comments (0)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item


Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 98 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea..."

- Douglas Adams

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors