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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Walkthrough Process

Performing a walkthrough process is very critical during analyzing phase, it helps the stakeholder, business user and development team to understand the proposed solution and identify any potential shortfall.

Walkthrough should not be just conducted before the beginning of development; it should be done regularly (as and when needed) during the entire lifecycle of the project.

Some benefits of structured walkthrough are as follows

  • Helps stakeholder to believe and take ownership of the project.
  • Business users can visualize the solution and propose any changes or highlight any potential problems.
  • Reduces ambiguities and identify missing functions earlier on the project.
  • Helps the team agree on objectives of the proposed solution.
  • Validates the current and complete understanding of the analyst(s).

Planning and Organizing Walkthrough

Make sure that relevant people (preferably one person from each department and/or level) attend the walkthrough meetings, keep the meetings short and distribute material to every participant before they attend the meetings.

Facilitating a Walkthrough

Rules observed during any business meeting should be followed during a walkthrough meeting, such as

  • Make sure you book the meeting room well in advance.
  • Setup the meeting room before the meeting starts.
  • Arrive on time, and most importantly finish on time.

Below are some more tips when you are facilitating walkthrough meetings

  • Give every participant a fair chance and time to speak.
  • Do not interrupt when someone is talking and don’t let anyone else do that.
  • Use terminologies which are familiar to the group and/or organization.
  • Take notes of all the proposals, questions and problems identified during the meeting.
  • Try to stay away from fixing any problem and/or bugs identified during the meeting.
  • Nominate yourself or someone else to resolve any conflicts arises during the meeting.

Always remember the cost of fixing and/or changing anything after the development is complete is very expensive and time consuming when compared to identifying it early on the project. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or comments.

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