Steps for Integrating Reviews into Collaborative Workshops

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Summary:

Reviews can be effectively integrated in your workshops, helping participants to create higher quality deliverables. Integrating reviews in your requirements workshops also helps participants to more fully explore how requirements relate to each other. This brief document provides you with a list of steps to employ before, during, and after a collaborative workshop to make best use of reviews.

Before the Workshop:

  1. Define which models (text and visual) will be used to represent the requirements.
  2. Employ multiple formats (text and visual).
  3. Define attributes to be captured for each requirement, such as owner, status, and priority.
  4. Define which requirements will be linked to others, such as business rules to use cases.
  5. Determine which requirements deliverables can best be created and tested in workshops and which will be done outside of workshops.
  6. Design an iterative process for the whole requirements phase.
  7. For each iteration, define the specific end states of each requirement.
  8. Integrate workshops into each iteration where feasible.
  9. Create QA checklists for your requirement based on the end states desired.
  10. Define workshop deliverables based on the iteration, required end state, attributes, and links.
  11. Obtain sponsorship for the workshops.
  12. Establish your requirements traceability environment (process, tools, and procedures).
  13. Design each workshop with the “6 P’s” as a guide.

During each Workshop:

  1. Ensure that direct users and subject matter experts are workshop participants.
  2. Ensure that test and quality analysts as well as developers are workshop observers or participants.
  3. Use multiple requirements models in workshops.
  4. Be sure the facilitator uses more rigorous facilitation techniques in initial workshops, and then loosen up as the team builds trust.
  5. Inject reviews into the workshops.
  6. Use your QA checklists in the workshops - both for building the models and for walking them through.
  7. Reach closure on each deliverable.
  8. Link requirements together to ensure quality.*
  9. Document the requirements live, in the workshops
  10. XClose each workshop with a debrief, or workshop retrospective, to learn how to improve the workshop process itself.

After each Workshop:

  1. Follow-up on all workshops issues and actions.
  2. Communicate workshops results and deliverables to all stakeholders–participating and non-participating stakeholders.
  3. After the complete set of requirements is delivered, conduct a phase debrief to learn how to improve the requirements process and requirements workshops.
  4. Obtain management support for proposals and recommendations for change.

*Correct, complete, clear, consistent, and relevant

About the author

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener

Ellen Gottesdiener, Founder and Principal with EBG Consulting, is an internationally recognized facilitator, coach, trainer, and speaker. She is an expert in Agile product and project management practices, product envisioning and roadmapping, business analysis and requirements, retrospectives, and collaboration.

In addition to co-authoring Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis with Mary Gorman, Ellen is author of two acclaimed books: Requirements by Collaboration and The Software Requirements Memory Jogger.

View articles, Ellen’s tweets and blogfree eNewsletter, and a variety of useful practitioner resources on EBG's website, ebgconsulting.com.

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