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Designing & Facilitating JAD Workshops


A comprehensive hands-on JAD training course demonstrating how to conduct JAD/group sessions that effectively and rapidly elicit real-world requirements both in person and virtually.


JAD Workshops significantly reduce your project scope, decrease your timeframe, and result in measurable overall savings. This project management training course gives you hands-on experience planning and conducting JAD Workshops: Learn powerful techniques to quickly mine the collective knowledge of your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and get the tools to put these elicitation methods to work immediately for functional, non-functional requirements as well as use cases and Agile/Scrum user story workshops.

Classroom Live Online 14 PDU’s + 14 CDU’s Custom Sessions


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Class Description

A comprehensive hands-on JAD training course demonstrating how to conduct JAD/group sessions that effectively and rapidly elicit real-world requirements both in person and virtually.

JAD Workshops significantly reduce your project scope, decrease your timeframe, and result in measurable overall savings. This project management training course gives you hands-on experience planning and conducting JAD Workshops: Learn powerful techniques to quickly mine the collective knowledge of your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and get the tools to put these elicitation methods to work immediately for functional, non-functional requirements as well as use cases and Agile/Scrum user story workshops.

Learn how to:

  • Use facilitative skills to effectively mine group knowledge
  • Brainstorm creatively to identify requirements
  • Learn how to conduct User Story workshops for building the product backlog, prioritizing the backlog, identifying sprints and releases, and grooming the stories
  • Structure JAD Workshops for maximum productivity
  • Acquire needed information, regardless of your systems development approach
  • Obtain consensus and buy-in easily
  • Build related components of the systems development lifecycle
  • Clarify the scope before “scope creep” becomes an issue
  • Deal with difficult participants
  • Increase contribution by building a structured, project-oriented workshop atmosphere
  • Significantly collapse calendar time by using facilitative approaches

What is a JAD Workshop?

JAD (Joint Application Development) sessions are structured meetings of business and systems representatives for the purpose of defining requirements and deciding other aspects of proposed systems. Using a structured approach, visual aids, and language that is very much the customers’, JAD Workshops extract high-quality requirements specifications in a compressed time frame. The participants are focused, the process is facilitated, and the result is greatly enhanced understanding for all those involved.
Why are Requirements Workshops (JAD Sessions) Beneficial?
From the customers’ viewpoint, the focus of an effective JAD Workshop is on the “what” and not the “how” of what their system must do and be. The session results in consensus and clarity about the requirements. From a developer’s viewpoint, the session delivers the models, definitions, and process descriptions in clear, unambiguous specifications.
What are the benefits of Facilitative Techniques?
Capers Jones, Chief Scientist Emeritus of Artemis Management Systems and Software Productivity Research, has studied JAD Workshops. He concluded that such workshops:

  • Reduce scope creep from 80% to 10%
  • Increase delivery speed of early phases by 30-40%
  • Increase function points by 40-85%
  • Result in 5% to 15% overall savings in time and effort for entire project

In-Class Workshops and Group Exercises:
Effective facilitation is easy to watch but harder to do. No matter how well you know your agenda and meeting plans, it requires specialized skills to stay on topic, handle disruption, keep people on task, and achieve consensus. Planning the mechanics of a Requirements Workshop requires additional attention and knowledge of requirements gathering, idea generation, and information capture. You will learn all the tips, tricks and shortcuts used by world-class organizations to accelerate information gathering. Specifically, you will:

  • Learn how to build meeting structures that avoid most pitfalls.
  • Deal with the difficult people and problems that plague meetings.
  • Use creative techniques to mine participants’ knowledge.
  • Employ deft techniques to obtain consensus.
  • Extract, document and prioritize requirements efficiently in group settings
  • Maximize effectiveness and make the best use of business customers’ time through skillful techniques.

20 Immediate Benefits of Taking This Joint Application Development (JAD) Training Course

  1. Learn techniques for skillful facilitation.
  2. Effectively coordinate and organize meetings for maximum productivity.
  3. Extract information in a variety of ways – brainstorming, categorization, prioritization, etc.
  4. Minimize the probability of scope creep.
  5. Greatly collapse calendar time for requirements gathering – functional, non-functional, use cases, user stories from Sprint Zero, to prioritization, Sprint/release identification, grooming Sprint Backlogs with detailed acceptance criteria
  6. Apply the techniques to improve a variety of other types of meetings.
  7. Use facilitative techniques in group settings to build Context Diagrams, Use Cases, UML diagrams and Entity Relationship Diagrams.
  8. Learn different methods for prioritizing requirements in a group setting.
  9. Learn the simple, mechanical techniques of capturing information easily and correctly.
  10. Avoid pitfalls to ensure active participation of all parties in a session.
  11. Appreciate the flexibility and usability of Post-It™ notes in solving problems.
  12. Identify viable solutions to complex problems.
  13. Understand how to assist the business in relevant activities beyond requirements.
  14. Use a variety of tools to solve problems.
  15. Keep energy and interest high during meetings that last several hours or days
  16. Use effective questioning and listening skills to extract requirements
  17. Learn how to apply the facilitative approach to other processes such as project planning, business analyst plans, strategic planning, and lessons learned.
  18. Build high-level plans in a group setting easily and accurately.
  19. Evaluate alternative approaches and reach consensus.
  20. Learn innovative techniques to improve requirements development quality.

Course Outline

I. Introduction to Facilitation
Facilitation is a skill beyond writing with markers on flipcharts or white boards. It includes an array of subtle techniques that should be invisible to participants. The workshop runs smoothly because of effective techniques, but they shouldn’t be obvious to anyone except the facilitator. By avoiding the pitfalls and the “ditch,” you can ensure such sessions are successful.

•The importance of creating the climate
•The difference between process and content
•Facilitation skills vs. presentation skills
•Active listening skills
•Tools of the trade
•Tricks of the trade

Practice Session
Participants practice the initial skills as demonstrated and receive feedback on their performance from the instructor and fellow students.

II. The Dynamics of JAD Workshops
Creating an atmosphere is important, but being able to deftly handle people problems is key.

•People motivators
•People principles
•Problem people and how to deal with them
•The group life cycle

III. Key Techniques: Brainstorming/Cardstorming/Creativity Techniques
Acquiring the information needed to understand a business system and its customers’ requirements normally occurs through different versions of brainstorming. Brainstorming is just part of the journey – clarifying, combining and prioritizing are the rest of the journey. Learn subtle techniques for generating ideas, identifying themes, reaching consensus and summarizing the process. Apply the techniques demonstrated to a variety of situations.

•Creativity methods
•Clarifying, combining, evaluating, categorizing
•Problem solving

Practice Session
Participants are assigned situations to which they must apply one or more of the various techniques in order to demonstrate a working knowledge of the methodology. Participants receive feedback from the instructor and fellow participants.

IV. Preparing for the Workshop
Planning is everything. You must build an agenda and the mechanics of how to conduct each topic in the agenda. It’s another ditch-avoidance mechanism. Organizing the topics is a key step, but planning how each topic is handled must integrate the tool mechanics, group dynamics and creativity techniques. Learn how to orchestrate all these factors to create a successful meeting environment.

•Building the agenda
•Integrating the tools
•Considering the mechanics
•Setting up the room

Practice Session
Participants learn how to orchestrate mechanics, group dynamics, and creativity techniques to create a successful meeting environment. Participants construct detailed agendas based on the desired outcome of the meeting assigned to them.

V. Facilitating the JAD Workshop – Demonstration and Class Exercises
Teaching participants how to facilitate workshops is a “show and tell” process – first the instructor demonstrates it and then “you do it”. During some of these exercises, the instructor will start the process, and then the participants will complete it. In others, the instructor demonstrates the complete process, and participants then use a hypothetical but realistic case project to apply the technique on their own, with other class participants portraying the facilitated group.

•Starting the Workshop
•Identifying Business and Systems Roles
1.Identifying roles
2.Clarifying expectations
3.Comparing and resolving differences
•Scope Identification
1.Brainstorming candidate items
2.Narrowing the scope
•Identifying the Context and Actors
1.Identifying and documenting the components
2.Drawing the model
•Chunking for Further Analysis (Functional Decomposition)
1.Identifying the functions
2.Defining the functions
3.Identifying the processes
4.Developing the data flows
•Brainstorming Requirements
1.Identifying requirements by function
2.Listing, clarifying, combining, and prioritizing
3.Identifying requirements gaps
4.Identifying possible solutions
•Identifying Business Objects, data, and relationships (Entity Relationship Diagram)
1.Identifying“things” – the entities/objects
2.Defining the entities/objects
3.Identifying relationships and drawing models
4.d. Identifying the attributes and data elements
5.UML and Use Cases
6.Creating use cases
•Agile/Scrum Facilitated Workshops
1.Techniques for identifying the product backlog in Sprint Zero
2.Categorizing stories into Themes
3.Writing user stories and high level acceptance criteria Deriving requirements
4.User story prioritization via MoSCoW
5.Identifying Sprints and Releases
6.Grooming stories within Sprint backlogs with lower level user stories and/or detailed acceptance criteria
•Planning for Success
1.Resolving overlapping roles and responsibilities
2.Identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks
3.Developing a high level plans
4.Developing detailed project plans/business analyst plans
5.Conducting lessons-learned sessions
•Ending the JAD Workshop
1.Reviewing and assigning issues
2.Identifying next steps, who, and when
3.Closing the workshop

Practice Session
In a highly interactive real-world environment, participants will conduct various sections of the process taught, and receive feedback from the instructor and class participants.

VI. Additional Uses of the Tools
All of the techniques used in the class are applicable to a variety of situations. An overview of actual uses of these tools is provided for future use.

Who Should Attend?

This Designing and Facilitating JAD Workshops training course is valuable to all those interested in collapsing calendar time in developing requirements, other system-related topics, and learning powerful meeting facilitation skills. This project management training class is for you if you are a…

•Business Systems Analyst
•Business Analyst
•Business Customer or Partner
•Systems Analyst
•Designer or Developer
•Project Manager or Team Leader
•IT Manager/Director
•Scrum Master
•Product Owner

Additional Info

Class Length

3 Days

Class Locations

Live Virtual Class-Attend from Anywhere

Class Dates

Apr 25, 2016 thru Apr 27, 2016, Dec 09, 2015 thru Dec 11, 2015, Feb 01, 2016 thru Feb 03, 2016

Guarantee & Policies

Course registration info, our commitment to your privacy,

and general terms and conditions


Course registration information:

All courses carry Project Consult’s Guarantee of 100% Satisfaction: 
Project Consults provides an unsurpassed training experience. If for any reason you are not satisfied with the program, simply notify the instructor or registrar of your intent to withdraw from the program prior to the first morning break, turn in your course materials and receive a 100% refund. If at the end of the program day, you are unsatisfied with the program, we will credit your tuition towards a future program of your choice.

Payment Policy:
Payment is required at time of registration. Approved forms of payment include a company purchase order, PayPal, or credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Courses are available as onsite training: 
All courses are available as onsite training at your location. On-site options can be very cost effective.

Course Hours:
This course begins promptly at 8:30 AM and ends at 4:30 PM, unless otherwise noted on the course page or in email notifications. Please arrive at 8:00 AM on the first morning of class to sign-in and meet your fellow attendees.

Shipping of Course Materials:
In an effort to reduce paper waste, course materials for live-online sessions will be digital. You will recieve information on how to obtain your course materials in your confirmation email.

Substitution & Cancellation Policy: 
If a change needs to be made to your public course registration (cancel, transfer, or substitution) Project Consults must receive written notice via email at If a cancel or transfer request is made less than 15 business days prior to the class start date, payment will still be due, no refunds will be issued and you will be charged a $200 change fee. Your paid tuition will be available for one year to be used as a credit towards another course of equal value; only one reenrollment opportunity is allowed. Failure to attend the course without written notification will result in forfeiture of the full course price. Student substitutions may be made at any time prior to the start of class free of charge. If a student substitution is made for a live, online session and any hard-copy materials have been provided to the initial student, it is the responsibility of the client to pass along those materials to the new attendee. If Project Consults is forced to cancel a course for any reason, liability is limited to the registration fee only. If you have questions or concerns, please contact or call 469-424-1084.

In certain situations, Project Consults may not have the required enrollment to hold a course as scheduled. We do our best to confirm every class, but our main mission is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to have a positive impact on their work performance. Based on this, should there be a cancellation for a class you are enrolled in, Project Consults will proactively automatically enroll you into the next available live, online session of the same course to provide you with the knowledge you originally needed. You will be notified during this process and have the ability to work with an Project Consults representative regarding alternate options if you are unable to attend the new session.

Substitution & Cancellation Policy (PMP Boot Camp): 
If you are unable to attend your scheduled training class, please contact us directly at 469-424-1084. We require a 16 calendar day notice to reschedule or to cancel any registration (and receive refund for payment). Failure to provide the required notification will result in a 100% charge of the course fee. If a student does not attend a scheduled course without prior notification, or contacts us to cancel within the notification window, the student will have the option to pay a $200 reschedule fee to attend one of the live, online sessions of the PMP Boot Camp. Within the notification period, only student substitutions will be permitted.

Hotel Reservations:
Project Consults does not set aside a block of rooms for class participants. If you wish to book a sleeping room please contact Project Consults for the best hotel options or recommendations. For directions to the course location please call Project Consults or you may also contact the training center or hotel directly.


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