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New Post 11/6/2008 7:01 AM
User is offline anonymous
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Help Please! How to document a workshop 

Hi There

I am new to the forum, although have been lurking for a few months!  I have come across a bit of a problem at work that I would love some help with.

My PM has set me a very woolly vague task around systems complexity.  Basically we have spent the last few months documenting our AS-IS processes, and coming up with Level 3 maps.  She know wants me to run a series of workshops with the systems analysts for three systems we are replacing to make sure that we have got everything we need, and in particular document system complexity.

I don't think she really knows what she wants here, as she doesnt seem to want to give me any other steer than this, but I have taken this to mean that I need to pick the brains of the systems analyst and come up with some way of documenting anything strange that we do here, that other companies wouldnt, in terms of how our systems work - like funny configs that we have because we've always done it this way, for example.

My question is, how one earth do i run a workshop like this? and how do i document it so that i have some kind of output? 

any help would be greatly appreciated.

many thanks

masba

 
New Post 11/6/2008 9:37 AM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: Help Please! How to document a workshop 

 annapitfield wrote

Hi There

I am new to the forum, although have been lurking for a few months!  I have come across a bit of a problem at work that I would love some help with.

My PM has set me a very woolly vague task around systems complexity.  Basically we have spent the last few months documenting our AS-IS processes, and coming up with Level 3 maps.  She know wants me to run a series of workshops with the systems analysts for three systems we are replacing to make sure that we have got everything we need, and in particular document system complexity.

I don't think she really knows what she wants here, as she doesnt seem to want to give me any other steer than this, but I have taken this to mean that I need to pick the brains of the systems analyst and come up with some way of documenting anything strange that we do here, that other companies wouldnt, in terms of how our systems work - like funny configs that we have because we've always done it this way, for example.

My question is, how one earth do i run a workshop like this? and how do i document it so that i have some kind of output? 

any help would be greatly appreciated.

many thanks

masba

It sounds like she is leaving the details of the workshop up to you, which is great.  This shows her confidence in your work and ability. 

You need to understand her goals though.  What does she expect you to get out of the workshop/review sessions.  It sounds like you have documenting the existing systems and she wants you to simply validate your findings.  Likely, this will be done interatively within the workshops.  You will probably uncover additional details that you haven't considered once you get the other experts in the room with you.  Think of the workshops as a Joint Analysis effort where together all of the analysts will be modeling the system. 

Also, make sure you understand if your managers goal is to improve upon the existing process/system.  If it is, then the analysts can help you arrive at a better solution for those areas that are more complex.

Does this help? Or were you looking for something else?


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
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New Post 11/6/2008 11:47 PM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: Help Please! How to document a workshop 

Hi Masba,

I agree with all of Chris's comments. In addition, you might want to think about how you will know you "have got everything we need". The proof would be do you have all the functional, process and data requirements that deliver the SMART objectives? This raises the question of do you have the SMART objectives? If you do and you can map the requirements to the objectives, and the process and data models to the requirements, then you can prove to your PM that you have everything you need. If you don't have the objectives, a workshop with all the "killer stakeholders" (people who have the authority to sanction the project to proceed or call a halt to it) to get them to agree the objectives would be the most useful thing to do. Then these objectives can be used by you to ensure all the required analysis is done and your PM to ensure that everything that needs to be done to deliver the objectives, is being done.

However, if your PM just expects you to "pick the brains of the systems analyst and come up with some way of documenting anything strange that we do here, that other companies wouldnt, in terms of how our systems work - like funny configs that we have because we've always done it this way" then a workshop is the not the most efficient method as you will need to pick apart the process execution logic and detailed data requirements. Typically, this involves detailed 1:1 sessions with subject matter experts in the business area you are working in. In a workshop, you will end up in that 1:1 dialogue with a subject matter expert and the rest of the workshop attendees will be twidlling their thumbs!

Hope some of the above helps,

Guy

 
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