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EventStorming, yes, but how?

One of the facts that makes Nebb software products successful is that they are designed and developed in an agile fashion. The agile approach implies regular product (re) inception sessions, where we validate our software products on the latest changes on the market and the end-user feedback.

It is almost a rule that on our product inception sessions we have an EventStorming workshop. EventStorming is a workshop format for quickly exploring complex business domains and a method to quickly find out what is happening in the domain of a software program. There are two main reasons why we like EventStorming.

The first is that as a workshop model it has a certain structure, that if followed, it will end with a meaningful result. The second one - the structure does not suppress the analytical thinking of the participants. Moreover, the participants are stimulated to participate and to contribute with fresh ideas.

In a nutshell, EventStorming workshops prevents us from getting stuck in endless brainstorming that produces a useless model. I will here talk about few preparation steps that we usually do, to get the maximum of an EventStorming workshop.

Warm Up Meeting

Very often, when we have participants with different background, we organize a brief warm up meeting prior the EventStorming workshop. During the warm up meeting we discuss product related questions, such as: what is the product current state, what is the desired product state, and what do we need to do. The warm up meeting should only initiate the analytical thinking of the participants that will be utilized in the EventStorming workshop.

Invite the Right People

Reflecting on our experience with EventStorming, we have found that inviting the right people is essential for beneficial results. Usually we invite a wide range of technical as well as domain experts. The only thing that guaranties a solid behavioural model is the variety in expertise, in experience, in market knowledge, and in customer behaviour. Having the same type of participants will end up with a single point of view model, which is not what we want.

Provide Unlimited Modelling Space

One recommendation says that there should not be any obstacle, especially not a technical obstacle such as: limited modelling space (whiteboards, paper, etc.), stickers, markers, coffee, big enough room, etc. It might sound silly, but in order to encourage the analytical thinking, we must make sure we do not suppress it in any possible way. Therefore, please find enough walls and paper and stick it horizontally and vertically.

Start with a Simple Example

Honestly, it doesn't really matter how you start. However, we usually start with a less significant (from the domain point of view) and very simple event. That is a good example to show the participants (the ones that are not familiar with the concept) how the EventStorming works and to engage them. Once the participants are comfortable with the way of work, they easily jump to the more significant (and more complex) events.

Have you tried EventStorming in your company? What is your experience? Are you willing to try, but you don’t know how? Talk to us, we can help you.

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