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How to Facilitate or Participate in Successful Live or Virtual Meetings and Workshops that Define Digital Solutions

Conducting Effective Requirements Meetings and Workshops

Mastering Communication Skills for Requirements Interviews, 3-Amigo Conversations, User Story Workshops, & JAD Sessions

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Duration: 3+ hours video content PLUS quizzes 
Format: Online course
Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway


Prefer reading? Check out our How to Facilitate Agile Meetings and Workshops (Kindle or Paperback).

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What is this course about?

Requirements gathering (aka requirements elicitation) is challenging. Whether you express business needs in User Story format or as traditional requirement statements, you need to meet with various stakeholders to discover them. Of course, there are meetings and then there are meetings. Meetings that matter, that make a difference, where people connect to get things done and make things happen. In other words, productive meetings that people enjoy. Those meetings start with a facilitator who understands how to shape the environment and get people engaged.

Effective Communication Soft Skills are Essential Requirements Gathering Tools

You should always be looking for ways to make meetings more productive AND more enjoyable – if they’re an inconvenience that just holds you back from doing productive work, your company is an endangered species. Make sure your workshops, conversations, and meetings are something everyone feels excited and invested in.

Collaboration is the beating heart of a healthy company. Facilitated discussions are opportunities for communicating and collaborating. Collaboration is the essence of productive teams and without effective facilitation, there can be no collaboration.

Having a facilitator on hand should not be your fallback plan. From regular participatory feedback to Agile 3 amigo conversations, effective facilitation can bring out creativity and improve the outcomes.

Team Collaboration Improves Personal and Professional Satisfaction

Studies show that individuals who collaborate are more satisfied with their work, deliver better results, and are more creative. Sounds like a win-win, so what is collaboration and how can you improve your facilitation skills to make it happen?

According to Albert Einstein, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. We offer guidelines for planning, preparing, conducting, leading, and participating in collaborative meetings and workshops.

Most courses on requirements or user story meeting facilitation focus exclusively on building facilitation and leadership skills. That is no longer enough. Modern software development is a collaborative effort between the business and IT communities. You need to also work on your ability to foster and maintain collaboration to allow all parties to succeed.

This course is based on a combined 70+ years of facilitating productive user story workshops and requirements gathering meetings. We present how we plan workshops and foster collaboration between the meeting leader and all participants to make meetings more productive and satisfying.


Collaboration and Teamwork are Highly Regarded Competencies

Companies today understand how collaboration unlocks the potential of their employees and adds value to their customers. 69% of top employers list effective communication as a required skill. In the world of digital transformation, communication between the business and those who develop and deliver the digital solutions drives collaboration. That is the heart and soul of modern organizations in the 21st century.


What Do You Get When You Buy This Course?

  • Lifetime access to the course including future updates.
  • 30-day Moneyback guarantee backed by Udemy if you are not completely satisfied with the learning experience.
  • Includes 111-page Student Handout in .pdf format for notetaking
  • “Intellimated” video lectures use visual representations to simplify complex concepts and associations.
  • Help from the authors answers open questions and provides additional information.
  • Confidence in your ability to facilitate collaborative meetings that minimize miscommunication that plagues IT initiatives.


Learn How to Plan and Run Productive Agile Meetings and JAD Sessions

A lack of effective communication skills can be holding you back in your career development. If you feel uncomfortable speaking in front of a group, register for this course to:

  • learn how to empower collaboration in productive meetings
  • help IT deliver what the business community is requesting
  • reduce the amount of time spent in non-productive meetings
  • lead challenging workshops for defining evolving business needs
  • identify and practice soft skills necessary for effective facilitation and collaboration


Course Contents

Section I: “Introduction to Collaborative Requirements Elicitation”, presents how collaboration drives modern product development approaches like Lean and Agile. We explain why everyone involved in a gathering needs facilitation skills.

Section II: “Inside the Different Types of Requirements Gathering Sessions” introduces 7 variants of meetings, conversations, and workshops with an explanation of the pros and cons of each variant.

Section III: “The Secret to Productive Requirements Meetings? Planning and Preparing!” provides concrete techniques that set the stage for successful gatherings. It includes how a well-formed objective drives the agenda, attendees, tools, and techniques of a meeting. We guide you from the decision to schedule a meeting all the way to formulating and distributing effective invitations that increase attendance.

Section IV: “The Neuroscience of Soft Skills for Amazing Communication and Facilitation” delves into recent studies in brain research that will help you recognize and develop the soft skills that are essential to effective facilitation and collaboration. We also present techniques for developing the social skills that improve your ability to lead or contribute in a group setting.

Section V: “Simple Listening Techniques That Will Instantly Make You a Better Communicator” focuses on the key soft skill that underpins all human interactions. You will learn techniques for ensuring that your voice is heard in conversations and improve your ability to listen more attentively to other viewpoints.

Section VI: “Facilitating Productive Live or Virtual Elicitation Meetings & Story Workshops” acknowledges that facilitated collaboration does not depend on a perfect world to succeed. We present real-world challenges we have faced and present solutions we know work for solving them.

Section VII: “Ways to Wrap Up Your Session and Move Forward” presents what to do at the end of a facilitated session and what to do after the meeting is over. These actions extend the benefits of collaboration beyond a single workshop, meeting, or conversation by initiating a process of change that can spread throughout your organization.


About the Instructor: Tom Hathaway

      • Teaches 10 Udemy courses for Agile Business Analysis with over 70,000 students enrolled.
      • Champions lean and agile methods to meet communication challenges between business and IT communities.
      • Extensive YouTube Channel with over 100 videos for 18K+ subscribers and 1.8M+ views.
      • Authored 13 Business Analysis books covering tools and techniques for Agile and traditional software requirements.
      • Consultant to a multitude of Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies.
      • Facilitated 100’s of User Story and Requirements Gathering Workshops / JAD Sessions for multi-million-dollar projects.
      • 35+ years’ experience with instructor-led training for tens of thousands of students around the world.
      • Coach and mentor for aspiring business analysts.

Intrigued but not convinced? Take a look at our FREE previews to make sure the instructor style and delivery work for you.

Who should take this course?

  • Product Owners
  • Product Team Members
  • Product and Project Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • Business- and Customer-side Team Members
  • Agile Team Members
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Systems Analysts and Designers
  • Developers
  • Quality Assurance Specialists/Testing Team Members
  • AND anyone interested in improving their facilitation and communication skills for today’s collaborative business environment.

What Can You Do After the Course?

Upon completion of this course, you can:

  • Optimize the output of User Story Workshops, 3-Amigos Conversations, JAD Sessions, and 1-on-1 requirements interviews
  • Plan, prepare, and perform collaborative meetings with an expanded toolkit of techniques and soft skills
  • Determine the optimal approach, identify ideal participants, and select preferred tools for productive workshops and meetings with well-formulated objectives
  • Define the necessary deliverables or outcomes of the collaborative conversation needed to achieve the meeting objective
  • Achieve the defined objectives of any collaborative conversation based on the organization’s culture, technology, and your leadership style
  • Help participants discover and document features, functions, user stories, and requirements for future digital solutions by leveraging brain science
  • Understand how the conscious and nonconscious mind play a significant role in collaborative conversations
  • Anticipate common challenges associated with face-to-face and virtual meetings
  • Understand the significant role that the conscious and nonconscious minds play in collaborative conversations
  • Mitigate threats to successful collaboration using conflict resolution strategies
  • Maintain the momentum of your collaborative conversations by applying proven facilitation techniques
  • Reduce miscommunication with effective listening techniques which are the key ingredient to productive collaborations

Detailed Course Outline

I. Introduction to Collaborative Requirements Elicitation

  • Requirement Collaboration Meetings, Explained
  • How Facilitation Makes Communication Happen
  • Collaboration Is at the Heart of Requirements Elicitation Collaboration
  • Core Skills Every Meeting Attendee Should Have

II. Inside the Different Types of Requirements Gathering Sessions

  • Effective and Successful Business Collaboration for Meetings of Every Size
  • Instant Interviewing: Ad Hoc or Informal Requirements Interviews
  • 1–1 Interviews, Mini-Group Discussions, and 3-Amigo Conversations
  • Dealing with Large Groups or Workshops – You Need a Facilitator!
  • Virtual Collaboration is Different Than In-Person Work
  • Planning and Preparation Is Key to Successful Collaboration

III. The Secret to Productive Requirements Meetings? Planning and Preparing!

  • Collaborative Meetings Improve Your Organization’s Performance
  • How to Have Effective Meetings through Facilitation
  • SMART Meeting Objectives: A Cheat Sheet for Keeping Your Group Focused
  • Attendee Selection: How to Multiply Your Event’s Effectiveness
  • Desired Outcomes/Deliverables Drive Agenda Development
  • Select the Right Tools and Techniques for the Desired Outcome
  • How to Collaborate in the Virtual Age
  • Different Types of Meetings Have Different Agenda Structures
  • How to Write an Effective Agenda that Gets Results
  • What to Consider When Creating an Agenda for a Virtual Requirements Session
  • Well-written Meeting Invitations Increase Attendance

IV. The Neuroscience of Soft Skills for Amazing Communication and Facilitation

  • What Soft Skills vs Hard Skills Are and Why You Need Both
  • Teambuilding Skills Are Essential to Collaborative Requirements Meetings
  • People Need Help Discovering What They Really Want
  • Introducing TOM and MOT
  • Improve Decision-Making by Engaging TOM and MOT
  • Learning New Skills Is a Conscious Effort; Expertise Is Nonconscious
  • Engage Both Minds For Effective Requirements Gathering
  • The Nonconscious Resists Change and Must Be Persuaded or Influenced to Accept It
  • Why You Should Stop Asking “Why?”
  • Leverage the Nonconscious Mind’s Reward System to Elicit Unrecognized User Needs

V. Simple Listening Techniques That Will Instantly Make You a Better Communicator

  • The Three “V”s Of Effective Communication: Verbal, Vocal, and Visual
  • Learn the Language of the Participants for Effective Communications
  • The Language Of Collaboration: How You Say It Is As Important As What You Say
  • Improve Your Non-Verbal Communication Skills And Reduce Costly Miscommunication
  • Listening: The Most Important Skill to Discover User Stories & Requirements
  • Attentive, Analytic, & Empathetic Listening Techniques Reveal Hidden User Needs
  • Silence Is a Secret Weapon that Demands Participation from Meeting Attendees
  • 3 Cognitive Biases That Can Sabotage Your Meeting and How to Handle Them
  • Dealing with Self-Inflicted Impediments Can Save an Otherwise Endangered Outcome
  • Written Communication Is Asynchronous Collaboration with Benefits

VI. Facilitating Productive Live or Virtual Elicitation Meetings & Story Workshops

  • Kick-Start Collaborative Meetings For Maximum Results
  • Kickoff Each Session with a Fun, Fast, Non-Threatening Icebreaker – But Beware!
  • Easy Techniques to Stimulate Creativity during Elicitation Meetings or Workshops
  • Keep Up The Momentum: Track What You Do and Do Not Know throughout the Session
  • How To Conduct Interviews & Workshops to Extract the Maximum Amount of Knowledge
  • Maintaining Productivity and Motivation in Disruptive Situations
  • Dealing with Difficult People and How to Create Peaceful Confrontations
  • 7 Techniques for Making Virtual Meetings Enjoyable and Productive
  • Pros and Cons of Taking Notes vs Recording an Elicitation Meeting or Workshop

VII. Ways to Wrap Up Your Session and Move Forward

  • Ensure Your Collaborative Meetings Provide Lasting Business Value
  • Tips For Fostering Collaboration After The Workshop To Optimize Impact
  • A Final Word About this Training Experience and a Solemn Promise from Us

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