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

How to Facilitate Agile Meetings and Workshops

Run Live or Virtual Get-Togethers to Elicit and Analyze Requirements, User Stories, and Features

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Preview CourseDuration: 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).

Sneak preview

What is this course about?

Effective Communication Skills are the Building Blocks for Collaboration

Are your meetings, conversations, and workshops exhilarating experiences for all participants or a dreaded waste of time? If meeting invitations are considered an inconvenience that just keep you from doing productive work, your organization is an endangered species.

Productive meetings are the beating heart of a healthy organization. Meetings, workshops, and conversations are tools for collaborating. Collaboration is the essence of productive teams and without effective communication, there can be no collaboration. Collaboration should not be your solution of last resort. It should be a component of your group’s DNA.


Many Employers Rank Collaboration and Teamwork High as Competencies!

They know that collaboration unlocks the potential of their employees and adds value to their customers. According to a recent survey, 69% of today’s top employers list effective communication as a required skill. Communication between the business and those who develop and deliver the digital solutions is the engine that drives collaboration. That is the soul of successful organizations today.


What’s in It for You Personally?

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 collaboration skills and contribute to making business gatherings of all kinds eagerly anticipated events?

Albert Einstein famously stated, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. This course offers a different approach to planning, preparing, conducting, leading, and participating in collaborative gatherings. Many courses on meeting facilitation focus on building facilitation or leadership skills. Based on a combined 70+ years of conducting productive workshops and meetings, the authors present how collaboration between the meeting leader and all participants makes meetings more productive.

If you are anxious about attending a meeting, a User Story Workshop, or a 3-amigos conversation, this course is for you!

By the way, if you are a Product Owner, Business Analyst, or Developer facilitating a gathering of people to get their requirements, features, or User Stories, you definitely need this course!


About the Course

Section I: “Introduction to Collaborative Conversations, Meetings, And Workshops”, explains how collaboration drives modern product development approaches like Lean and Agile. We reveal why everyone involved in a gathering needs collaboration skills.

Section II: “Forms of Collaborative Conversations and Meetings” introduces 7 variants of meetings, conversations, and workshops with an explanation of the pros and cons of each variant.

Section III: “Planning and Preparing Conversations and Workshops” 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: “Leverage the NEUROSCIENCE of Collaboration” delves into recent studies in brain research that will help you recognize and develop the soft skills that are essential to effective collaboration. We also present techniques for developing the social skills that improve your ability to lead or contribute in a group setting.

Section V: “Communication Is the Core of Collaborative Conversations” 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: “Dealing with Challenges during Conversations and Workshops” acknowledges that 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: “Closing a Working Meeting and Final Steps” presents what to do at the end of a collaborative 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.


Why Should You Buy This Course?

Totally new content not included in any other of our courses.

Intellimated video lectures use visual representations to simplify complex concepts and associations.

Quizzes and assignments give you an opportunity to test your understanding of the presented material, reinforce learning, and increase retention.

Help from the authors to clarify open questions and provide additional information.

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.

You will gain confidence in your ability to leverage the power of User Stories to minimize miscommunication that plagues IT initiatives.

About the Instructor

Tom Hathaway:

  • Teaches 10 Udemy courses for Agile Business Analysis with over 50,000 students enrolled.
  • Champions lean and agile methods to meet communication challenges between business and IT communities.
  • Maintains an extensive YouTube Channel with 111 videos for 17K subscribers and 1.6M views.
  • Authored 10 Business Analysis books covering tools and techniques for Agile and traditional software requirements.
  • Consuls to a multitude of Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies.
  • Facilitated 100’s of User Story and Requirements Gathering Workshops 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 communication skills for today’s collaborative business environment.

What Can You Do After the Course?

Upon completion of this course, you can:

  • Develop well-formulated objectives and agendas to flush out optimal approaches, ideal participants, and preferred tools for productive workshops and meetings.
  • Create a toolkit of techniques and soft skills that foster collaborative and engaging environments for planning, preparing, and performing effective meetings.
  • Leverage modern brain science studies to help people discover and document features, functions, and requirements for future digital solutions.
  • Select the best type of collaborative get-together for achieving the defined objectives based on the organization’s culture, technology, and leadership style.
  • Prepare participants for cooperation and collaboration in facilitated User Story Workshops, 3-Amigos Conversations, and 1-on-1 requirements interviews.
  • Applying conflict resolution strategies to mitigate the threat to successful collaboration
  • Understand how the conscious and nonconscious mind play a significant role in collaborative conversations
  • Create a toolkit of specific techniques that will keep your Collaborative Conversation on-track and engaging
  • Apply several listening techniques which are the key ingredient to productive collaborations
  • Find solutions for addressing common challenges associated with virtual meetings
  • Derive the necessary deliverables or outcomes of the collaborative conversations from the meeting objective

Detailed Course Outline

I. Introduction to Collaborative Conversations, Meetings, And Workshops

  • The Need for Collaboration to Define Future Digital Solutions
  • For Productive Meetings, Size Matters
  • Conversations and Workshops Are the Essence of Lean and Agile
  • In Agile Meetings, All Participants Need Facilitation Skills

II. Forms of Collaborative Conversations and Meetings

  • Different Approaches for Productive and Effective Communication
  • Ad-hoc Requirements and Agile Conversations
  • Requirements Interviews and User Story Conversations
  • Expanding the Size and Duration From Conversations to Workshops
  • Unique Challenges of Virtual Get-Togethers
  • Different Types of Meetings Require Different Skills
  • Quiz: Different Forms of Collaborative Communications

III. Planning and Preparing Conversations and Workshops

  • Enabling Collaborative Conversations in Your Organization
  • Planning and Preparation Get-Togethers for High Performance
  • Define Enticing Objectives to Get People’s Attention
  • Select the Best Participants for Maximal Productivity
  • Your Objective Dictates the Outcome or Deliverables and Activities
  • Plan Session Techniques, Tools, and Templates
  • Virtual Add-Ons for Techniques, Tools, Templates
  • Agenda Requirements for All Collaborative Conversations
  • Some Workshops Require a Detailed, Structured Agenda
  • Considerations for Effective Virtual Agendas
  • Create and Distribute Workshop Invitations
  • Quiz: Planning and Preparation of Online and Physical Get-togethers

IV. Leverage the Neuroscience of Collaboration

  • Soft Skills are Social; Hard Skills are Technical
  • Social Skills Are the Foundation of Teamwork
  • Neuroscience Helps People Discover What They Really Want
  • Why the Nonconscious Mind Matters to Collaborative Conversations
  • Deciding is a Nonconscious Process
  • The Conscious Mind Deliberates and Learns
  • Leveraging Soft Skills Needs a Unified Mind
  • Persuasion and Influence Convince Contributors to Collaboration
  • Why You Should Be Careful Asking a Stakeholder WHY
  • Neuroscience Facilitates Changing How You Collaborate
  • Quiz: Soft Skills Can Be Innate or Learned, Hard Skills Are Acquired

V. Communication Is the Core of Collaborative Conversations

  • Communication Is a Fundamental Social Skill
  • Make Sure You Can Talk the Talk
  • Make Your Voice Count in a Group Meeting
  • What You See Trumps What You Hear – Body Language Wins
  • Engaged (aka Active) Listening
  • Listen for Intent and Purpose
  • Silence Is a Secret Weapon in Collaborative Conversations
  • Impediments to Effective Listening
  • Overcoming Listening Impediments
  • Written Conversations Can Still Be Collaborative
  • Quiz: The Most Important Soft Skill for Collaboration Is Communication

VI. Dealing with Challenges During Conversations and Workshops

  • The Start of a Great Collaborative Conversation
  • Icebreakers Improve Team Communication
  • Techniques to Build a Collaborative Meeting Environment
  • Good Time Management Maintains Momentum
  • Asking Follow-on Questions Right Maintains Momentum
  • Dealing with Distractions and Difficult People
  • Conflict Resolution Strategies Rescue Endangered Conversations
  • Virtual Workshops Add Technology Challenges
  • Taking Notes versus Recording the Conversation
  • Quiz: During the Collaborative Session

VII. Closing a Working Meeting and Final Steps

  • Close the Collaborative Conversation in Style
  • Life After Collaborative Conversations

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