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Designing and Facilitating JAD Workshops - Online

Length: 3 Days
Tuition: $1,495.00

Schedule for this Course

There are no dates scheduled for this course.
If you would like to be added to the wait list for this class Click Here

Course Description:

PMI: 14 PDUs

A comprehensive hands-on guide to conducting JAD/group sessions that effectively and rapidly elicit real-world requirements.

JAD Workshops significantly reduce your project scope, decrease your timeframe, and result in measurable overall savings. This project management training course gives you hands-on experience planning and conducting JAD Workshops: Learn powerful techniques to quickly mine the collective knowledge of your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and get the tools to put these elicitation methods to work immediately.

Learn how to:

  • Use facilitative skills to effectively mine group knowledge
  • Brainstorm creatively to identify requirements
  • Structure JAD Workshops for maximum productivity
  • Acquire needed information, regardless of your systems development approach
  • Obtain consensus and buy-in easily
  • Build related components of the systems development lifecycle
  • Clarify the scope before "scope creep" becomes an issue
  • Deal with difficult participants
  • Increase contribution by building a structured, project-oriented workshop atmosphere
  • Significantly collapse calendar time by using facilitative approaches

What is a JAD Workshop?

JAD (Joint Application Development) sessions, are structured meetings of business and systems representatives for the purpose of defining business requirements and deciding other aspects of proposed systems. Using a structured approach, visual aids, and language that is very much the customers’, JAD Workshops extract high-quality business requirements specifications in a compressed time frame. The participants are focused, the process is facilitated, and the result is greatly enhanced understanding for all those involved.

Why are Requirements Workshops (JAD Sessions) Beneficial?
From the customers’ viewpoint, the focus of an effective JAD Workshop is on the“what” and not the“how” of what their system must do and be. The session results in consensus and clarity about the requirements. From a developer’s viewpoint, the session outputs?the models, definitions, and process descriptions produced?comprise a clear, unambiguous specification of the customers’ business requirements.

What are the benefits of Facilitative Techniques?
Capers Jones, Chief Scientist Emeritus of Artemis Management Systems and Software Productivity Research, has studied JAD Workshops. He concluded that such workshops:


  • Reduce scope creep from 80% to 10%
  • Increase delivery speed of early phases by 30-40%
  • Increase function points by 40-85%
  • Result in 5% to 15% overall savings in time and effort for entire project

In-Class Workshops and Group Exercises:
Effective facilitation is easy to watch but harder to do. No matter how well you know your agenda and meeting plans, it requires specialized skills to stay on topic, handle disruption, keep people on task, and achieve consensus. Planning the mechanics of a Requirements Workshop requires additional attention and knowledge of requirements gathering, idea generation, and information capture. You will learn all the tips, tricks and shortcuts used by world-class organizations to accelerate information gathering. Specifically, you will:

  • Learn how to build meeting structures that avoid most pitfalls.
  • Deal with the difficult people and problems that plague meetings.
  • Use creative techniques to mine participants’ knowledge.
  • Employ deft techniques to obtain consensus.
  • Extract, document and prioritize requirements efficiently in group settings
  • Maximize effectiveness and make the best use of business customers' time through skillful techniques.

20 Immediate Benefits of Taking This Project Management Training Course

  • Learn techniques for skillful facilitation.
  • Effectively coordinate and organize meetings for maximum productivity.
  • Extract information in a variety of ways - brainstorming, cardstorming, categorization, etc.
  • Minimize the probability of scope creep.
  • Greatly collapse calendar time for requirements gathering.
  • Apply the techniques to improve a variety of other types of meetings.
  • Use facilitative techniques in group settings to build Context Diagrams, Class Diagrams, Use Cases, and Entity Relationship Diagrams.
  • Learn different methods for prioritizing requirements in a group setting.
  • Learn the simple, mechanical techniques of capturing information easily and correctly.
  • Avoid pitfalls to ensure active participation of all parties in a session.
  • Appreciate the flexibility and usability of Post-It™ notes in solving problems.
  • Identify viable solutions to complex problems.
  • Understand how to assist the business in relevant activities beyond requirements.
  • Use a variety of tools to solve problems.
  • Keep energy and interest high during meetings that last several hours or days
  • Use effective questioning and listening skills to extract requirements
  • Learn how to apply the facilitative approach to other processes such as strategic planning, lessons learned, and planning.
  • Build high-level plans in a group setting easily and accurately.
  • Evaluate alternative approaches and reach consensus.
  • Learn innovative techniques to improve requirements development quality.

Who Should Attend Project Management Training

This project management training course is valuable to all those interested in collapsing calendar time in developing requirements, other system-related topics, and learning powerful meeting facilitation skills. This project management training class is for you if you are a…

  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Customer or Partner
  • Systems Analyst
  • Designer or Developer
  • Project Manager or Team Leader
  • IT Manager/Director



Course Outline:

I. Introduction to Facilitation
Facilitation is a skill beyond writing with markers on flipcharts or white boards. It includes an array of subtle techniques that should be invisible to participants. The workshop runs smoothly because of effective techniques, but they shouldn't be obvious to anyone except the facilitator. By avoiding the pitfalls and the “ditch,” you can ensure such sessions are successful.

  • The importance of creating the climate
  • The difference between process and content
  • Facilitation skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Active listening skills
  • Tools of the trade
  • Tricks of the trade

Practice Session
Participants practice the initial skills as demonstrated and receive feedback on their performance from the instructor and fellow students.

II. The Dynamics of JAD Workshops
Creating an atmosphere is important, but being able to deftly handle people problems is key.

  • People motivators
  • People principles
  • Problem people and how to deal with them
  • The group life cycle

III. Key Techniques: Brainstorming/Cardstorming/Creativity Techniques
Acquiring the information needed to understand a business system and its customers' requirements normally occurs through different versions of brainstorming. Brainstorming is just part of the journey - clarifying, combining and prioritizing are the rest of the journey. Learn subtle techniques for generating ideas, identifying themes, reaching consensus and summarizing the process. Apply the techniques demonstrated to a variety of situations.

  • Rules
  • Process
  • Creativity methods
  • Clarifying, combining, evaluating, categorizing
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem solving
  • Exercises

Practice Session
Participants are assigned situations to which they must apply one or more of the brainstorming/cardstorming/ creativity techniques in order to demonstrate a working knowledge of the methodology. Participants receive feedback from the instructor and fellow participants.

IV. Preparing for the Workshop
Planning is everything. You must build an agenda and the mechanics of how to conduct each topic in the agenda. It's another ditch-avoidance mechanism. Organizing the topics is a key step, but planning how each topic is handled must integrate the tool mechanics, group dynamics and creativity techniques. Learn how to orchestrate all these factors to create a successful meeting environment.

  • Building the agenda
  • Integrating the tools
  • Considering the mechanics
  • Setting up the room

Practice Session
Participants learn how to orchestrate tool mechanics, group dynamics, and creativity techniques to create a successful meeting environment. Participants construct detailed agendas based on the desired outcome of the meeting assigned to them.

V. Facilitating the JAD Workshop - Demonstration and Class Exercises
Teaching participants how to facilitate workshops is a“show and tell” process - first the instructor demonstrates it and then "you do it". During some of these exercises, the instructor will start the process, and then the participants will complete it. In others, the instructor demonstrates the complete process , and participants then use a hypothetical but realistic case project to apply the technique on their own, with other class participants portraying the facilitated group.

  • Starting the Workshop
  • Identifying Business and Systems Roles
    1. Identifying roles
    2. Clarifying expectations
    3. Comparing and resolving differences
  • Establishing the Business Purpose
    1. Reviewing the draft
    2. Modifying the draft
    3. Achieving consensus
  • Scope Identification
    1. Brainstorming candidate items
    2. Narrowing the scope
  • Identifying the Context and Actors
    1. Identifying and documenting the components
    2. Drawing the model
  • Chunking for Further Analysis (Functional Decomposition)
    1. Identifying the functions
    2. Defining the functions
    3. Identifying the processes
    4. Developing the data flows
  • Brainstorming Business Requirements
    1. Identifying“buckets” or functions
    2. Listing, clarifying, combining, and prioritizing
    3. Identifying requirements gaps
    4. Identifying possible solutions
  • Identifying“Things and Thingettes” (Entity Relationship Diagram/Business Objects)
    1. Identifying“things” - the entities/objects
    2. Defining the entities/objects
    3. Identifying relationships and drawing models
    4. Identifying "thingettes"-the attributes and data elements
    5. UML and Use Cases
    6. Building class diagrams
    7. Creating use cases
  • Documenting Processes to Derive Requirements
    1. Techniques for eliciting processes
    2. Identifying changes with the“new project”
    3. Deriving requirements
  • Planning for Success
    1. Developing a high-level project plan
    2. Identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks
    3. Resolving overlapping roles and responsibilities
    4. Conducting lessons-learned sessions
  • Ending the JAD Workshop
    1. Reviewing and assigning issues
    2. Identifying next steps, who, and when
    3. Closing the workshop

Practice Session
In a highly interactive real-world environment, participants will conduct various sections of the process taught, and receive feedback from the instructor and class participants.

VI. Additional Uses of the Tools
All of the techniques used in the class are applicable to a variety of situations. An overview of actual uses of these tools is provided for future use.

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