Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions before starting a new project or working with a new client?
* Should we commit to this project?
* What’s the scope, size and cost?
* Do I understand my client and his business?
* What’s the market for this product?
* Who are the competitors?
* How are we going to work together?
* How do I establish trust?
* How can we generate value from the start?
If so, facilitating an inception workshop will help you gain insight and answer those questions. The inception workshop is a way to gather ideas, content and potential difficulties of a project at an early stage.
A typical inception workshop lasts 2 days and contains a series of exercises to bring together the thinkers, stakeholders, implementers, designers, and managers on the same page. It’s a very intensive workshop and requires full participation of the members that have some stake in the project. You really want as many people from the customer side (and your side) as you can. The more input you can gather, the better the output will be.
The activities in the workshop focus on different aspect of the product and business showing them from multiple angles. Some activities are creative, others emotional, and others analytical.
All assets generated during the workshop will be of value for the whole duration of the project: personas, user flows, wireframes, and user stories.
Understanding the project and your client is key to a successful project. Acquisition of knowledge by the team is something that usually occurs after the project has started. This can be costly since it could mean features not implemented correctly or not understanding the reasoning behind the work.
An inception workshop avoids this by understanding the project before it starts. It builds a direct channel of communication with the customer and gives a framework to explore and understand their needs.
Here are some of the activities performed during a workshop:
* Why are we here?
* Create an elevator pitch
* Create a product box
* The NO list
* Meet the community
* What keeps you awake at night?
* Show the solution
* What’s going to give?
* What’s going to take?
Not only these activities are essential to grasp the work that needs to be done, but also to brainstorm how it can be done. In multiple workshops, I have experienced how an idea before the workshop improves (and sometimes pivot) because of the input from all participants at the workshop.
Inception Training is designed for business analysts, project managers, software developers, testers, product managers who are interested in creating initial product backlog and having a clear picture of the project in order to make decisions for the success of the project.
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