How to approach or design a scoping workshop to help understand everyones’ needs better?
Why have a scoping workshop?
Whether you’re developing an app, a piece of software, or something else, development can be a complex process. Miscommunication or misunderstandings can cost both sides time and money. Worse, a shaky start can upend the entire project, producing a bad result or an end product that doesn’t fulfill the client’s needs.
Having a scoping or strategy workshop cuts down on hiccups that can derail a project or cause costs to balloon unexpectedly. When you have an in-depth scoping workshop, you can do exactly what the name says: scope out the project from start to finish.
Bearing in mind that the success of any project is largely based on its justification, correct definition, understanding, and adhesion, it is crucial to devote the time and resources needed to this pre-project phase. I would like to share six guiding questions, based on the ‘Five Ws and How’ method, to help us bring our ideas to maturity and accurately define the project scope.
- What? The project description — This will help in identifying key needs and be able to formulate requirements in a clear and structured way while ensuring that everybody involved is on board.
2. Why? The justification, challenges, and aims of the project — We need to ask ourselves all of these questions to define the expected goals as accurately as possible. We also need to make sure that these goals are specific and measurable.
3. Who? The entities and stakeholders involved — We must make sure that nobody is forgotten and identify their roles (their influence on the project’s success, their expectations, and fears). It is also crucial to maintain a targeted communication plan (what type of information and how often) for the duration of the project, in order to ensure you have their active involvement and support
4. Where? Project’s internal and external environment — It is essential to effectively analyze the existing situation and gain a clear view of reality, in order to give the project a chance of success. This exploratory phase will often help you highlight the added value of your project and support its reason for being.
5. When? Major milestones in the timeline — We need to set reasonable and possibly adjustable deadlines as the project advances, adapting to any unexpected circumstances along the way. If we have an end date that ties our hands in terms of deadlines, then we must either allocate the necessary budget or reduce the scope. The key point here is being REALISTIC
6. How? Organizational, human, and financial resources — Prior to the launch of the project, we also need to have identified the resources that are essential for its deployment and effectively planned ahead for their management, in order to maintain sufficient productivity and motivation throughout the project.
How are workshops conducted?
Workshops usually last between one and two business days and can even be held online nowadays. The meeting is attended by a team specialized in many areas. There’s usually a Developer, Product Designer, Project Manager, Business Analyst, and Business/eCommerce Consultant. If during the pre-call we notice that your project needs more experts in a specific field, we’ll fill this gap. From the client’s team, usually, there are some business stakeholders, Product Owners, and if the project is about integrations, a Developer. We meet together in order to gather business requirements, precisely define the unique selling proposition (USP), and establish the IT architecture along with key processes.
The Scoping Session is the best way for your business if you want to check us out or make sure it’s a good decision without taking any bigger risks.