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10 Steps to Successful Workshops

By SAM7 8 years ago
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We frequently use workshops to gain a clear understanding of our Customer’s business requirements, enabling us to deliver tailored business solutions. These are collaborative sessions, and we have a 10 step plan to making them a success:

  1. Project Scope: It sounds simple, but we always make sure that we have defined exactly what is included within the Project, along with what our ultimate deliverable is going to be. This could range from a Solution Overview, providing a Project synopsis, through to a full blown System Specification.
  1. Workshop Objectives: It’s critical that all attendees understand the purpose of the workshops. We use them to:
    • Work alongside key Customer staff to gain an accurate understanding of their requirements.
    • Collaborate with the team by questioning and challenging elements of their requirements to ensure any gaps or issues are eradicated.
    • Pass on our expertise and experience, applicable to the project.
  1. Who Attends: SAM7 will expect a Business Process Owner to be appointed for the Project. The Business Process Owner will be required at all sessions, and may want to bring Subject Matter Experts (typically 1-3 people) along to some or all of the sessions. In addition, IT System Architects may be required at specific workshops.
  1. Workshop Structure: SAM7 will provide an outline schedule and agenda for the workshops. We ask that our Customer to review this and pass any feedback to SAM7. Any amendments will be incorporated into the agenda.
  1. Workshop Preparation: It is critical that the Customer’s team spend time, before the Workshops commence, working through the current processes, identifying challenges and defining how these need to change going forward. This includes the steps involved in the new process, key data and any interactions with other systems or third parties. We provide our Customers with documentation outlining the three levels of readiness, to enable them to understand exactly what we are expecting.
  1. Pre Workshop Help: If during preparation a Customer needs to ask any questions, seek clarification or discuss approach, we’re happy to help.
  1. The Workshop, Setting the Scene: At the start of each workshop SAM7 will briefly summarise and review the output from the previous workshop. In addition, we will outline the agenda of the current workshop, including how this fits into the ‘bigger picture’. This will include the starting and finishing points within the process.
  1. The Workshop, Understanding the Requirements: We ask the Business Process Owner to take us through their proposed processes. Throughout the session we raise questions for clarification, challenge aspects based on our previous experience, highlight any additional considerations and identify any gaps. Similarly during these discussions our Customer may need to raise questions or issues with us, to help them better define the processes. If any items are raised that are outside the scope of the workshop or need further clarification outside of the workshop, these will be ‘parked’.
  1. The Workshop, Wrap Up: At the end of each workshop SAM7 will briefly summarise what has been covered, assign actions for ‘parked’ issues and identify whether the objectives of the workshop have been met. Follow up sessions may be required.
  1. Post Workshop: We will collate our draft notes and will issue these for review and comment. In addition, we will summarise any actions raised.
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