BANTER Business Analysts on Business Analysis

19/08/2015

Top Tips for Business Analysts Preparing for a Successful Workshop – Part 3

top-tips-3

In part 1 and part 2 of our workshop series we shared top tips for planning and conducting a successful workshop.

In our final installment we’ll share some top tips for things that you can do after every workshop that can make a positive impact on the response you receive.

After the Workshop

When the workshop ends and you’ve caught your breath you should follow up on the action items captured. Write up your notes as soon as you can, while the detail is still fresh in your memory. The longer you leave it the harder it is for you and, more importantly, the participants to recall the workshop.

Lead by example by delivering what you said you would by the agreed date. This is so powerful because participants will pay more attention to your actions than your words and should therefore be more inclined to reciprocate.

Peer review practice

Before sharing the output from your workshop with the participants you should ask someone e.g. another business analyst, to peer review your work. It’s good practice to offer to peer review something of theirs in exchange. Make sure you give the reviewer adequate time and a deadline for feedback.

A peer review at this stage will help you eliminate any errors or gaps before the participants have a chance to notice them. In a peer to peer review, only one person besides the author reviews the workshop output. A peer review typically is an informal review but a good opportunity to find out if you could be doing anything better. Feedback can range from whether the content makes sense to identifying spelling/grammatical errors.

Communicate next steps

Contact all participants, providing a link to the output from your workshop. Remember to share the output with any stakeholders that couldn’t attend or who sent representatives. The post workshop communication must be clear and concise about what needs to be done next and by what date. If you need participants to review and feedback, it helps to provide them with a mechanism to do so e.g. comments log.

Storing the comments log alongside the output in a central location will make it easier for participants to provide their feedback. It will also allow them to see any comments added by other participants. You should outline any risks associated with not providing feedback on time so that participants can understand any consequences of their inaction.

Workshop output is also ideal for keeping other interested parties in the loop.

Tracking progress

Any action items identified during the workshop session must be tracked until completion. Don’t forget to include any items that were assigned to the Parking Lot during the workshop. Share the actions log when distributing workshop output to re-affirm specific actions and target dates agreed. Participants may be spurred on to complete their actions if they see that others have already done theirs.

One of your actions may be to schedule the next workshop with the group. That’s a perfect opportunity for you to consider what worked well and what could have worked better, so that your next workshop can be even better.

In Summary

There’s no doubt that conducting an effective and successful workshop is a lot of work. With the right commitment, decisions can be made and information gathered within a short time frame, making the workshop a favourite go to elicitation technique for busy BAs.

The key to overall workshop success is investing time in all three phases i.e. planning, conducting and follow-up.

If you have enjoyed this article why not download our free eBook today “Business Analysis Simplified – A Must Have Guide”

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