Monday, May 20, 2024

Setting the Stage: Preparing for Your Event Storming Workshop

Now that you’re familiar with Event Storming and its benefits, it’s the perfect moment to delve into the "How" - the practical aspects of conducting an Event Storming workshop.

Event Storming is a dynamic workshop approach that delves into domain and requirements discovery. The insights gained are invaluable, aiding in the design of software that aligns closely with business boundaries, thereby simplifying maintenance.

Event Storming offers three distinct workshop types - Big Picture, Process Level, and Design Level. Today, we’ll zero in on the universal aspect: workshop preparation.

Who to Invite?

A successful workshop hinges on three participant groups:

  • Those who knows answers - Domain experts, business analysts, and others who can elucidate domain nuances, rules, and policies. Their expertise is crucial for understanding business operations and the language that articulates its activities.

  • Those who asks questions - Developers, testers, and all those who are involved in implementation whose probing questions uncover less apparent domain facets. Their curiosity enriches business understanding.

  • Facilitator - Typically one individual, or more for larger groups, tasked with steering the workshop towards its objectives while keeping participants engaged and focused.

In addition, there are two crucial considerations to keep in mind:

  • Don't get overfixated with the list of roles I provided above - focus on the individuals who possess knowledge and those who are curious and want to learn.
    It’s not uncommon the most knowledgeable person, who has all the answers, to be a senior developer with years of experience in the business.

  • Understand that the delineation between groups is not rigid. Participants may find themselves providing answers in one instance and generating questions in another, reflecting the collaborative and evolving nature of the workshop. 

Before Sending Invites

  • Define the goal - Clarity on workshop objectives prevents aimless drift and keeps discussions on track.

  • Ensure you don’t overlook essential participants - Be certain to invite that critical individual whose opinions and decisions matter. Confirm their attendance promptly, and if necessary, directly communicate with them. Avoid the frustration of discovering inaccuracies or the need for revisiting decisions days after a workshop by proactively addressing this upfront.

Preparation Checklist

  • Snacks and drinks - For onsite workshops, ensure that snacks and beverages are readily available in the room. For virtual sessions, remind participants in the invitation to have refreshments on hand. The reason? A boost of sugar can energize discussions, and a simple cookie might just be the fuel needed to reach a conclusion. Moreover, hunger can significantly detract from concentration, so it’s best to address it beforehand to maintain focus.

  • Onsite workshop
    • Sticky notes - Stock an ample variety in size, color, and shape to represent different information types.
    • Writing tools - Opt for markers with thick tips to ensure each note conveys a single, clear message.
    • Space - Secure a lengthy wall space for note placement—there’s no such thing as too long.

  • Remote Workshop - Select a tool that allows for the creation of diverse shapes and the addition of annotations. While constraints and policies sometimes have led me to utilize tools like Visio,, and Paint, my preferred option is Miro.

The Legend

For participants experienced with Event Storming, display the legend on the wall prior to the workshop. This visual aid will serve as a quick reference, helping them recall the significance of each color, shape, and size.
Conversely, when introducing newcomers to Event Storming, develop the legend progressively as new information emerges. This approach saves time, as you won’t need to extensively define concepts like ‘Policy’—the examples and corresponding labels will naturally elucidate their meanings
„The picture that explains everything” – Alberto Brandolini – Introducing EventStorming

Looking Ahead

We’ve yet to choose which of the three Event Storming workshops to conduct. In our next session, we’ll explore their differences to inform your decision-making. Subsequently, we’ll delve into our Training Center.

Until then, I welcome your feedback and inquiries.

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