Facilitation Techniques for Requirements Development

Course:  RQFAC
Duration:  2 Days
Level:  II
Course Summary

The business analyst spends a significant amount of time facilitating requirements. Yet, many business analysts lack formal training on this vital skill.

A successful facilitation session results in requirements that you can begin to analyze and work with. Facilitation Techniques for Requirements Development focuses on teaching the facilitation skills necessary to elicit and analyze requirements on a project.

In this highly interactive course, you will learn how to effectively help stakeholders define their needs and form these needs into quantifiable requirements through facilitation. As a facilitator, you will learn how to prepare for and conduct both face-to-face and remote group sessions.

You will be exposed not only to several facilitator techniques such as brainstorming, JAD and focus groups, but you will also learn how to manage conflict in a session. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe environment with a trained facilitator to guide you through various activities.

You will leave the class with the confidence to prepare for a session, including creating a facilitation plan, motivating a group's participation, building consensus, managing conflict, maintaining session focus and evaluating results for lessons learned.

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Topics Covered In This Course

What is Facilitation?

  • Facilitation techniques and practices
  • The facilitation process

What is Business Analysis?

Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)

  • BABOK knowledge areas
    • The business analysis process

Facilitating in Business Analysis

  • The role of the business analysis facilitator
    • The responsibilities of the business analysis facilitator

Facilitation Session Preparation

Considerations for Remote Sessions

  • Environmental
    • Preparation
    • During the session
    • Wrapping up

Facilitation in Business Analysis is Iterative

  • Evoke Group Creativity
    • The creative process
    • Overcoming blocks to group creativity
    • Creativity in context
    • New products, services, and system features
    • Improving products and services
    • Recognizing problems
    • Solving problems of different kinds
    • Analyzing the environment
    • Sample tools for generating & evaluating ideas
    • Brainstorming
    • Checklists
    • Ask Questions
    • Affinity Diagrams
    • Future Scenarios
    • Mind Mapping
    • Storyboarding
    • Case Study: tools and techniques for generating ideas for defining high level business requirements and system features
    • Vision—enterprise analysis
      • Brainstorming
      • 5 Whys?
      • Brainwriting/Crawford Slip
    • Definition—requirement elicitation
      • Focus group
      • Joint Application Design (JAD)
    • Analysis—requirements analysis and documentation
      • Gap analysis
      • Root-cause analysis
      • Force-field analysis
    • Decision—solution assessment and validation
      • Multi-voting
      • SWOT analysis
      • Criteria-based grid
      • Impact/effort grid

Support Decision Making

  • The group decision making process
  • Consensus vs. majority vs. individual
  • Choosing the appropriate approach
  • Sample tools for making decisions
    • Rating Alternatives
    • Nominal Group Technique
    • Brainstorming Filtering
    • Consensus Card Method
    • Paired Choice Matrix
  • Case Study: applying practical tools and techniques for deciding system features

Verification of the Facilitation Session Plan

Facilitation Practices

  • Generating participation
    • Neutrality
    • Active listening
    • Questioning
    • Paraphrasing
    • Using flip charts
    • Maintain focus
    • Intervention
    • Feedback
    • Summarizing
    • Synthesizing ideas

Executing a Facilitation Session

  • Prior to the session
    • Starting the session
    • Conducting the session
    • Ending the session

Facilitation Conflict Techniques

  • Argument vs. debate
    • How to intervene
    • Choices in resolving issues
    • Working toward consensus

BA Facilitation Opportunities

  • Assessing your growing edge
  • Setting-up a plan for growth
  • Keeping track of progress
  • Tools for continuous growth
  • Breaking through self-imposed ceilings
What You Can Expect

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the use of facilitation in business analysis.
  • Explain the role and responsibilities of a business analysis facilitator.
  • Plan a facilitation session.
  • Use the appropriate facilitation techniques for a given session.
  • Conduct a facilitation session using best practices .
  • Manage conflict during a session.
  • Identify facilitation opportunities in business analysis.
  • Facilitate using proven techniques for business requirements gathering.
  • Identify when and how to use each technique.
  • Develop confidence and a skill set to conduct facilitated sessions.
  • Actively practice learned skills and techniques.
  • Use a requirements planning session template.
  • Prepare the participants for the requirements gathering session.
  • Perform each facilitation role through role playing each session.
  • Conduct the session to stay focused on the core requirement that was planned as a deliverable.
  • Select which facilitation technique to use for each core requirement being gathered.
  • Complete checklists for managing and conducting the session.
  • Facilitate a requirements gathering session.
Who Should Take This Course

This workshop is intended for project managers, project team members, software managers, business and systems analysts, quality assurance analysts, developers, and consultants, and other software professionals who are or will be involved in specifying requirements for software systems and who want to learn how to successfully incorporate facilitation techniques and other methodologies into the requirements process.

This seminar is intended for anyone involved in managing or undertaking software development projects. No level of technical expertise is required for this course.

Recommended Prerequisites

Prior to taking this course, you should have acquired the background as taught in How to Gather and Document User Requirements.

Training Style

Instructor-led, group-paced, classroom-delivery learning model with structured hands-on activities, group discussions and case studies.

The seminar can be tailored to your specific needs. Actual organization examples may be used throughout the presentation as examples or the instructor will use generic examples.

In addition, we further customize by going through the course agenda with you and have you tell us which items you want stressed and emphasized. There is no extra charge for this customization.

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Related Courses
Code Course Title Duration Level
Testing Techniques for Tracing and Validating Requirements
3 Days
Writing Effective Requirements
2 Days
Eliciting and Managing Requirements for Successful Software Development
3 Days

Every student attending a Verhoef Training class will receive a certificate good for $100 toward their next public class taken within a year.

You can also buy "Verhoef Vouchers" to get a discounted rate for a single student in any of our public or web-based classes. Contact your account manager or our sales office for details.

Schedule For This Course
There are currently no public sessions scheduled for this course. We can schedule a private class for your organization just a couple of weeks from now. Or we can let you know the next time we do schedule a public session.
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