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Collaborative Tools, Techniques and Skills That Foster Engaging Environments

Collaboration Requires a Robust Social and Technical Skillset


Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Video Duration: 17.31 minutes

This KnowledgeKnugget™ is part of this eCourse

Collaborative skills are both technical and social. This KnwledgeKnugget™ explores skills that are invaluable in collaborative meetings and how they improve your ability to facilitate requirements meetings, user story workshops and 3-amigo conversations.

Udemy Course: Collaborate Efficiently with Stakeholders and End-Users

How to Facilitate or Participate in Live and Virtual Conversations to Define Requirements, User Stories, and Features


Social Skills Are the Foundation of Collaboration

Meeting facilitation is an umbrella term for any type of meeting or event where multiple people gather for a common goal. Meeting facilitators help facilitate meetings between people with different skill sets such as domain experts and developers to create a smooth communication flow.

The skills and techniques required to plan, prepare, and perform a collaborative conversation from a one-on-one interview up to a full-blown workshop differ greatly. Most people are comfortable conducting a personal interview or participating in a small user story conversation. That level of collaboration is relatively simple if some of the parties are skilled in communication. As group size grows, so does the need for facilitation skills.

Bi-directional communication is critical for effective collaboration. When you want information from the other party, you need to express yourself well and adapt your message to the respective audience. You need to phrase your questions in terms that they can understand. You also need to be able to understand the intent behind what they say.

Collaboration Depends on Relevance and Context

The most important point to remember when collaborating in any context is that it needs to be relevant and appropriate for the context while being engaging as well. Although some people are born with natural collaboration and social skills, others need extensive training to develop these skills. This video includes suggestions for dealing with common problems and distractions that plague many meetings, including how to deal with problem people.

Social skills are an important skill for all types of professionals, but they are especially important for those defining future business solutions. These skills enable you to help people collaborate effectively in spite of different backgrounds and cultures. This allows you to deliver better requirements, user stories, or test scenarios that give developers sufficient details to deliver software the organization really needs

Teamwork Requires Common Goals and Diverse Skillsets

The desire to work in a team is a fundamental requirement for collaboration. This implies that team members form and foster relationships. They find common ground and build consensus around ideas. It also implies allowance for renegade team members who are critical of new ideas and prefer to focus on the risks of change. The power of teamwork lies not in conformity but in the diversity of ideas and the synergy of the group.

Studies show that diverse groups are more productive than homogeneous ones. Our ability to work in teams is based on our social skills. A lot of people maintain that it is this set of abilities that defines humanity.

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Written for the aspiring Business Analyst and anyone tasked with defining the business needs, requirements, or user stories for a future IT solution.

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