Successful Business Analysis Workshops – Planning (Part 1 of 3)


Successful Business Analysis workshops – Planning

Many Business Analysts find facilitated workshops particularly useful during the requirements elicitation and analysis phase of a project.  Over the last few years have seen workshops take a different form, however the key principals surrounding them haven’t changed.

A requirements workshop is a structured meeting in which a group of appropriately skilled and motivated stakeholders are assembled to help elicit and understand a specific set of requirements.  Ultimately, a successful requirements workshop requires planning and preparation, along with good facilitation skills.


Workshop objective

  • Does your workshop have a clear purpose and are you prepared to share and agree that objective with the participants?
  • The workshop objective should be agreed with the participants and also put up on display for the duration of the workshop.  If anyone wanders off topic, the objective on display can be referred to.


Workshop agenda

  • Have you got an Agenda and any other pre-workshop materials you need for your workshop?  Are you prepared to share these with the participants in advance of the workshop?
  • An Agenda is a valuable tool for preparing to facilitate a workshop.  It will help you plan who needs to attend and when, as well as to plan the sequence of activities needed to meet the objective.
  • Sharing the Agenda and any other workshop reading material beforehand gives you the best chance of attendees being prepared and willing to contribute to the workshop.


Room booking

  • Have you got a suitable room booked where the workshop can be held?  Is the room big enough for the participants and will you have enough wall space to display outputs?
  • Have you arranged for everything you’ll need to have in the room e.g. flip chart, projector and telephone?
  • Since the room booking and equipment is critical to the success of the workshop it is wise to check your arrangements. When you have checked the arrangements, go and check them some more.


Set out ground rules

  • What are the ground rules for the workshop and are you prepared to share these with the participants?
  • Ground rules enable you to set out the way the workshop will work and help prevent unnecessary disruption during your workshop.  It is particularly important to agree with participants how decisions will be made before you get to them.


Define roles

  • Is there anyone you can ask to help you out with note taking at your session?  Are they clear about what you need them to do?
  • As a facilitator it can be extremely difficult to ensure that all workshop activities are carried out as well as capturing all of the relevant information and issues discussed during the workshop.  Try to arrange for one of the participants to take notes for you during the workshop.


Allow yourself enough time

  • The preparation time required for a workshop should not be underestimated.  Give yourself sufficient time to make all of the necessary arrangements and brief the attendees in advance of the workshop.

Thanks for reading.  Click NEXT at the bottom of the screen to read part 2 of 3.

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