The Structured Collaboration Technique - an alternative to Example Mapping (e-book)
By Anna Fallqvist Eriksson | September 28, 2018
The Structured Collaboration Technique (SCT) can help you facilitate and carry out a specification or a requirements workshop efficiently and to the point. It is a highly structured technique which will make your whole team involved and engaged in the discussions. It goes very well with any agile way of working, such as for example BDD, when having a specification/requirement workshop for a particular backlog item. The backlog item might be a user story or something else, it doesn’t really matter – the SCT will work anyway.
Team members who feel they are involved, will also contribute with creative ideas and possible solutions, making the workshop both fun and engaging. The SCT will help your team to focus and solve one small problem at a time. You should also check out the Example Mapping technique, which is also a great way of doing the specification collaboratively and in a very structured way.
The keys for getting to quick and to-the-point decisions
I have been developing the SCT for a few years, trying to make the workshops efficient, fun and engaging. I mean, who hasn’t been a participant in a meeting where the discussions were moving from one detail to another and almost no decisions were taken? These situations just drained me from energy and I had to do something. What has struck me, being the facilitator for hundreds of workshops in many different organisations and settings, is that there are a few things that really make it or break it.
The SCT tries to address some of them at least. What I’ve noticed is that a little bit of structure, or actually quite a lot, is one of the keys for getting to quick and to the point decisions. The items in the backlog are possibilities for the product. You can also see them as a way of solving small problems and one of them at a time, instead of the whole problem at once. It’s pretty much the same with the SCT as we solve one small problem at a time with the backlog item, instead of engaging in an endless discussion about all the issues. We pick one question or issue with the backlog item, discuss it, come to a decision and then we move on to the next.
So, how does it work? Well, it’s quite simple actually – read about the five steps in the e-book on the link below. Just take it step by step and you’ll soon experience how quickly you can come to the decisions and clarifications you need.