About Ba-Beyond and an EventStorming hands-on

On May 24th 2018 Yves Lorphelin facilitated a hands-on Eventstorming Workshop at the BA-Beyond Conference. Yves  is a Lead Developer at Spikes and a firm advocate of DDD (Domain Driven Design). Below you can read his report of the workshop:

About Ba-Beyond

Before I dive into my small retrospective, let’s first see what this conference is about.
Well the “BA” stands for Business Analysis, and some might think “Hey that’s not your cup of tea, a conference about formal business analysis.”
The “Beyond” is what appealed to me.
All the people I met at this conference are looking for ways to go further than formal or traditional analysis.
They are actively seeking for opportunities to engage with both the business and the development team, earlier in the process and in a more agile way. They see themselves more as enabler of knowledge sharing and not just as knowledge scribe or requirement gatherer, passing the information form business to development.

And that was refreshing.

 

About a Hands-on Big Picture EventStorming Workshop

EventStorming is a lightweight workshop format intended to capture and visualize the domain of a business with all it’s complexities and interactions. It was invented by Alberto Brandolini with the aim of balancing out the biggest bottleneck we have in software development: learning and shared understanding.

The conference planned talks of about 20 to 25 minutes, followed by 15 to 20 minutes of Q&A.

At first I wanted to just give a presentation on EventStorming, explaining the format. The organization then quickly asked to transform it into a hands-on. A hands-on of 40 minutes, and some time to steal from the coffee break.
More an EventStorming appetizer than a hands-on in reality 🙂

40 minutes is not much at all, so there was a choice to be made on what to share about EventStorming.

I limited the number of participants to 15. I got help for a business colleague (Yes a real, genuine Domain Expert). I prepared one-pager with a summary, large font size, with a highlight of the Domain.

I made perfectly clear to the attendees that they probably would not be able to run an Eventstorming themselves, but that they at least would get an idea whether ‘This is for me’ or ‘This is not for me (yet)’

The hands-on then, to my utter delight, went as any EventStorming session go:
The facilitator (me) explaining what a Business Event is and pointing out that there is a timeline.
I put the first sticky on the wall myself.
And then the, normal, few minutes phase where participants are clearly asking themselves ‘What should I do?, Why am I here?’ followed.
And then suddenly, stickies started getting on the wall at a higher rate.

That was about 20 minutes into the allotted time…
We stopped and I explained what happened. We quickly added some order left and right of some pivotal event.

Then we discussed the type of information that EventStorming allows to get that a more formal workshop would not provide:

  • Knowledge of how the people of the business interact with each other.
  • The personality type of the business people
    You could event find out if there is a dungeon master
    see “The rise and fall of the Dungeon Master” by Alberto Brandolini
  • Where they fit, as human, in the overall process as well as their knowledge of their own part
  • Last but no least putting faces on a particular problems

So, all in all, in 40 minutes we realized more than I expected.

Resources about EventStorming:

Alberto’s book : Introducing EventStorming
Yes, it’s only 60% finished, he’s probably still working on it as you read this … But this book is more than worth it’s price, buy it, now !

Don’t hesitate to ask questions or share experiences on those 2 online communities:

EventStormers Google Group
DDD-CQRS-ES Slack