If information technology projects are to be successful, they have to be built on a strong base of business and user requirements, and though engaging business representatives and customers in useful dialogues about project deliverables sounds easy. It is anything but.In today's fast-paced business environment, managing effective dialogues with users and business representatives can be challenged by:The complexity of today's systemsThe competing demands on the time of both users and PM/BA/SAsCompeting requirementsThe fear of changes in business processes and systemsThe lack of skills among PM/BA/SAsThe conflict between systems as they are intended to operate and informal work-arounds and processesThe inability of users to articulate requirementsThe unwillingness of users to sign-off on requirementsBecause of these and other challenges, it is critical that BA/SAs for information technology projects have the ability to facilitate useful and cost-effective dialogues with business users. They have to create trust with the user and ask solid, open-ended questions. They have to draw out requirements, eliminate assumptions, and develop consensus among business stakeholders at the user level and above. Meeting those challenges requires both skill and the confidence to meet them head-on.Building those skills and confidence is the purpose of this workshop. It will engage participants in a learning experience designed to introduce them to critical skills of facilitation including:Working with customers to set and prioritize requirementsIdentifying and eliminating assumptionsPreparing for the customer dialogueCreating a good opening statementDesigning good, open-ended questionsIdentifying customer interests, separating their real needs from the positions they take and managing conflictGetting past emotional responses and engaging in rapid and effective dialogues with customers and stakeholders to identify the problems that need to be solvedThriving in a tough, demanding workplace and recovering from adversityParticipants in the workshop will be engaged in exercises designed to increase their understanding of concepts and help them apply those concepts to their work environment. At the close of the workshop, participants will be provided with checklists for the application of concepts explored in the workshop.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
2 Days/Lecture & Lab
- Introduction to the workshop
- The challenges of managing the requirements dialogue
- Preparing for customer interviews
- Group dynamics and participant motivations
- Clarifying customer and stakeholder demands and building effective conversations with them
- Application of the concepts
- Workshop wrap-up