Interviewing, which was described in my last column, is a great technique for gathering requirements from individuals. Sometimes, it is more appropriate to collect requirements from groups of people, and that’s a good time to use facilitated sessions. Group sessions may be optimal for a number of reasons:

There are several important roles that apply to all facilitated sessions. These include the participants, facilitator, observers and scribe. Let’s examine each of these individually. Participants Success of the facilitated session is largely dependent on having the appropriate people involved. As with any facilitated session, participants need to be team players who are capable of participating “without rank.” One of the factors that makes these sessions unique for facilitated session is the emphasis on including both data producers and data consumers. Data providers are business and IT people who either supply data or are familiar with the source systems; data consumers are the business representatives who will directly or indirectly receive information from the BI environment. In the sessions, one of the functions of the data providers is to ensure that the resulting requirements reflect a pragmatic understanding of the existing data condition and the limitations imposed by the current (or planned) business processes and operational systems environment.

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