I’ve been running a series of requirement gathering workshops recently which reminded me about the ‘physical stuff’ you need to have in place to make your workshop run well. I have also tried out some techniques that use some new tools which I’d like to share!
(by the way, I won’t be covering all aspects of preparing and running a workshop, you can read an introduction to workshops here.)
So what are the types of tools you should take into a workshop?
at some point you are likely to display an agenda and some slides to provide an overall structure for the workshop (you could do this on a pre-prepared flipchart too)
- Printouts of key ‘visuals’ to help bring to life and prompt the attendees (A1 or A0 size)
(read about the value of a visual model here and visual models that specifically support use cases)
- Brown paper + spray mount adhesive (aerosol can) + plain index cards
- Mount the brown paper on the wall. Some meeting rooms will have mounting rails on the wall which is a real time saver. Use bluetack if you don’t have rails
- Spray the adhesive on the brown paper to make it slightly tacky (try to do this when the room is empty to let the strong smell dissipate).
- Position the index cards on the paper as you build up the process or ‘build out’ the requirements
(use extra large post-its on brown paper if you don’t have the spray adhesive. They will start to fall off after a time but are good enough)
these are great for creating process models and/or brainstorming requirements with the group
- Sharpie pens
black (or coloured) pens which are effective for larger writing for people to read in a larger room
Some other great tools that you could consider are:
- magic whiteboard – turn any wall into a whiteboard by using these whiteboard sheets (on a roll) that stick to most walls through static electricity (basically it’s magic)
- stattys – half-way between post-its and magic whiteboard – these are post-it sized and can be stuck to the wall without adhesive (have to be shipped from Germany unfortunately)
All of these tools allow you to turn any meeting into a collaborative workshop where you only need some chairs and some wallspace (because sometimes meeting rooms are booked without you knowing about the facilities).
Make sure you book a room larger than the maximum number of attendees to allow your participants to stand up and contribute directly by putting post-its on the wall.
Want to learn more about workshops?
You can read an introduction to workshops here.
You can also learn more about workshops in practice by participating in my quick (and free!) elearning – an Insider’s Guide to core techniques.
What tools do you use for your workshops? Please share with everyone