A Requirements workshop is one of the fastest ways to build consensus, deliberate choices, and make decisions as to the correct path for a project. If you need to determine what the requirements are for a complex project, gathering everyone in a room and sussing it out can be a very effective way of painting the outlines of an epic. The downside? They can be very expensive - tying up that many people at once isn’t exactly cheap!
So how do you run a successful requirements workshop?
Get the right people
Focus on stakeholders that have clout or are SMEs. The attendees HAVE to be able to make decisions about the project. Including the PMO rep from the project is also a good idea so they can get an idea of the project’s scope and can help call out any issues regarding sizing or resources.
Keep the group reasonably small
Don’t invite the whole world. Only invite stakeholders that are germaine to getting to the “meat” of the issue. This isn’t a town hall forum. The more condensed the group, the more effective you can be - with too many attendees it becomes more and more unlikely that you’ll make progress.
Encourage open exchange of information, but keep the group moving
Oftentimes attendees will want to diverge from the subject and talk about their pet topics. Keep the team focused on the goal at hand - it’s easy for a group to be distracted.
Have an agenda
Because the workshop will have a number of people, it’s very helpful to a clear idea of what you need to determine. Try to have an outline of the project already completed. Understand the players involved in the project and what their goals are. The more you know about the project before stepping into the workshop, the better you’ll be able to guide the group.
Communicate the agenda ahead of time
Since you’ll be leading the group, plan your questions and your agenda ahead of time. Do not walk into a meeting with a dozen people without your agenda planned out.
Lastly, keep in mind that a requirements workshop ISN’T an implementation workshop. Hold off on the solutioning until you’ve got all of the requirements outlined.