What To Expect From The EventStorming Facilitator?

Have you thought about what you should expect from the person that is facilitating the EventStorming workshop? Is there difference between beginner and experienced facilitator? What can you learn from an experienced facilitator, besides the notation and session format? There’s something that in my opinion is more important.

Leading & Supporting

The facilitator leads and supports participants in the session. That is the minimum. Leading the session contains some essential steps to be performed. The initial notation must be introduced and explained.
The notation has to be extended, whenever the next step is necessary.
When an offline workshop is organized, the facilitator should also provide enough stickies, markers, and space.

What about supporting?

Supporting

Supporting is mostly about people in the workshop. The facilitator usually observes the participants. In the workshop, there might be a dominating person. The dominating person usually speaks their mind before anyone else has a chance. Encouraging others to speak (and gently reminding the dominator that there are other people’s as well) leads to much more ideas. Those ideas might be never expressed when certain people are not explicitly asked to speak up their minds.
When there’s a long discussion that doesn’t get resolved, he puts the hotspot with the right question. And so on.

Experienced Facilitator

But there’s also another skill that I think is important. If the facilitator is an experienced one, he might notice that the analysis of the system is very‚Ķ shallow. The consequences of a business event might not be taken into consideration. The model that you worked out might assume too much, instead of explicitly showing that. HotSpots questions might not express themselves in a way that we’ll remember them in a few days. There might be a process that starts but never ends. Or ends, but never starts. The facilitator should keep a good overview of the board.

Supporting The Analysis

In my opinion, experienced facilitators should also care about the depth of analysis. Because otherwise there’s not much value from the workshop. We’ll get the model that doesn’t describe the process that we want to have (and code). The facilitator running the session and supporting the participants also analyzing what’s going on the board brings a lot to the table. It’s very likely that after a few sessions the participants will notice how the facilitator is getting the knowledge from the domain experts and business people. Those who’ll notice that, will probably also try to play a similar game. Playing that game will help them build a better model. Maybe even a better product.
It’s a very accelerating thing to observe experts of certain professions do their job. If you do it carefully, you can speed up your learning. And bring value out of it. At the end of the day, we don’t run EventStorming workshops to glue a few stickies. We have some problems to solve or identify.

Facilitator Is Learning Together With Us

If the Facilitator is just the beginner it’s good to keep in mind to pay attention to outcome of the session. For example, when you do the Process Level EventStorming most of the commands might have only 1 event as a result. This might indicate one of following:

  • your system is just CRUD. Hence there might be no need for the Design Level Event Storming
  • you didn’t analyze the system well enough

If no one notices that, it’s good if the facilitator highlights it.

What would you expect from the person facilitating your EventStorming session?