Exam Spotlight

The primary difference between focus groups and facilitated workshops are that focus groups are gatherings of prequalified subject matter experts and stakeholders and facilitated workshops consist of cross-functional stakeholders who can define cross-functional requirements. Differences among stakeholders can be resolved more quickly and consensus is more easily attained in a facilitated workshop environment.

Group creativity techniques Group creativity involves several techniques, like brainstorming, Nominal group technique, the Delphi technique, and affinity diagrams. We will cover each of these techniques in either the Risk Planning process (Chapter 6) or the Plan Quality process (Chapter 7).

Idea/mind mapping is a group creativity technique where participants first use brainstorming techniques to record their ideas. White boards or flip charts are a great tool to use with this process. The facilitator uses the white board to map ideas and, using a mind-mapping layout, group similar topics together. There are a few mind-mapping software packages available on the market that can greatly assist with this process. Mind mapping allows the participants to get an understanding of common ideas and themes, create new ideas, and understand differences.

Group decision making techniques According to the PMBOKĀ® Guide, there are many methods groups can use to reach decisions. These methods can also be used with the group creativity techniques. The four methods mentioned include unanimity, where everyone agrees on the resolution or course of action; majority, where more than 50 percent of the members support the resolution; plurality, where the largest subgroup within the group makes the decision if majority is not reached; and dictatorship, where one person makes the decision on behalf of the group.

Questionnaires and surveys This technique involves querying a large group of participants via questionnaires or surveys. These tools allow you to gather information quickly and apply statistical analysis, if needed, to the results.

Observations This technique is typically a one-on-one experience where an observer sits side by side with the participant to observe how the participant interacts with the product or service. This technique is also known as job shadowing. For example, you may use this technique to determine requirements for an upgrade to a software product. Sitting with the user and watching their interactions with the product enables the observer to uncover requirements they would not have ordinarily discovered. This technique can also involve participant observers who perform the job themselves in order to ascertain requirements.

Prototypes Prototyping is a technique involving constructing a working model or mock-up of the final product for participants to experiment with. The prototype does not usually contain all the functionality the end product does, but it gives participants enough information that they can provide feedback regarding the mock-up. This is an iterative process where participants experiment and provide feedback and the prototype is revised and the cycle starts again.

Brainstorming

Brainstorming

Tap Directly Into Your Creative Mind... And Easily Access YOUR Million-Dollar Ideas Ideas are the lifeblood of success... and the best ideas originate with brainstorming. Brainstorming can help you successfully fix any problem, build any business, generate any plan, or develop any story. But the problem is that most people have no clue how to effectively brainstorm - either by themselves or with groups. You can waste a lot of time coming up with old, boring ideas that won't work... and the whole time you actually believe that you are brainstorming.

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