Workshop, which is what we often call demand visits. In the workshop, the two parties will conduct preliminary communication and evaluation of the product requirements. The author combines his own experience and talks with us about the demand access of the B-end products.

Editor’s note: This article is from Everyone is a product manager, Author, reprinted with authorization.

1. What is workshop

The students of the B-end product/demand analysis must be familiar with the term workshop. Its Chinese name is the demand interview. Individuals are not familiar with C-side products. This article will only talk about personal experiences with interviews of B-end products. This article is suitable for students of 0~3 years old.

In general, workshop refers to a face-to-face communication meeting on a topic, used to communicate business status, pain points, and preliminary assessment of the feasibility and program of the demand, and to convey the initial plan.

General members include:

  • Business

  • Product Manager

  • Architect/Senior Development

A good workshop should at least do the following:

  • Business critical processes and key demand points to make decisions;

  • Assessing the feasibility of the requirements, for the simple needs can form a preliminary plan that is satisfactory to all parties;

  • Identify and eliminate unreasonable needs (eg, business needs that are not logically or actually may occur, production ratios are too low, and project risks are required);

  • Form a clear meeting minutes/requirements document.

pain points

Workshop is characterized by intensive information and less background understanding, which makes communication difficult. Listed below for the past few yearsCommon pain points:

  • Business needs communication is not in place: missing, wrong; unexplored real demand leads to easy change of requirements;

  • The poor implementation of the program leads to a renewed demand;

  • Failure in management and control: If the problem is caused, the demand cannot be fully expressed, infinitely divergent, and accept unreasonable demand.

The following will be based on the experience method, according to the various aspects of the workshop to explain how to avoid pain points and achieve goals.

Second, prepare beforehand

1. Understand the background

Before you know the following information:

(1) The subject of communication

If the communication topic is initiated by someone else, you need to know the business knowledge of the topic, preferably the current business of the company/department. If you don’t know, you should understand the industry or the leading business model and solutions to gain an advantage in subsequent communications.

You also need to understand what the purpose of this communication is to solve, such as solving the problem of the existing system function is not good, you should try to understand the current system operation. If you have the conditions, you can go to the test environment and other operations.

(2) The department structure of the other party

Workshop takes time and effort, we should understand the structure of the other department, to ensure that the communication object can decide the communication theme, or at least be responsible for most of the problems. For those who join in the middle of the journey, you should know or ask about their position. For example: Is this your colleague who is doing business? Is it the same as you are responsible for the system docking?

The above questions also apply to new topics that appear in the communication process, and members who are new to the interview.

After a while, a well-known consulting company came to our company for an interview. Their main interview consultants did not ask who is the party A. We chose to ask a new person programmer business process in a house business. Conclusion The overthrow is revisited.

(3) Ability to communicate with people

We need to find someone who is familiar with the business/system to communicate. If the ability of the object is known to be unsuccessful, you can try to change or find other foreign aid colleagues at an early stage. It can’t be changed most, but if foreign aid can’t be found, it will be exhausting yourself and the project.

Foreign aid can be a friend of other companies in your peers (their opinions can only be used as a reference), or other colleagues in the business department who are responsible for similar modules.

(4) Requirements for our leadership

Our leaders hold the resources and don’t figure out what they want and what they can accept. It may be fatal. Before the big demand workshop, you need to focus on the leadership’s positioning of the requirements (when is willing to invest in resources), at least by the leadership.

2. Arranging staff

A well-established company, a needs review will involve product, business, operations, UI, development, testing, architects and other roles. Similarly, in the workshop phase, there are also staff arrangements:

  • 1~2 products (depending on the complexity and length of the communication, you can use the recorder to save)

    • A senior development/architect

    • Decisive business

    After identifying the person, the following things are needed for the internal team (other products and development) to cultivate tacit understanding:

    • Teach each other’s business background

    • Estimating meeting difficulty and difficulty

    • Defining the subject and interaction points

    Special emphasis on development, because even if it’s really simple, your development may tell you that you can’t do it, so you need a technical partner to help you evaluate it in real time, help you with other developments, and from a technical perspective. Help you with your needs.

    3. Schedule a venue

    Before the workshop, you need to gradually understand the information to arrange the follow-up interview plan:

    • Find the docker based on business knowledge and project/demand background.

    • Understand the requirements framework and key stakeholders by initial communication, then arrange for subsequent workshops:

    • First of all, you need to organize a project/requirement background introduction meeting. Be sure to ask the docker to help invite all related parties to participate. After the meeting, it is necessary to collect the attitudes and opinions of the related parties, clarify the follow-ups, and promptly feedback the leaders.

    • Follow the topic-related meetings according to the details of the requirements, but each meeting must clearly communicate the topic beforehand, and the time and meeting room will be booked as early as possible.

    • Finally, during the finalization of the requirements, a review of the meetings of the parties will be organized. The meeting does not force the parties to participate, but it is necessary to inform the parties.

    About the choice of meeting time, the time is preferably within 2 hours, and is arranged half an hour after work and half an hour before work. If you need other people to work overtime, it is best to ask for help in face-to-face communication.

    Three, communication in the event

    Before communicating, we have done a lot of preparation, which will greatly enhance our confidence. The main purpose of the interview is not to make friends, but to understand the needs externally, to clarify the needs, to mine the needs, to guide the needs; to communicate the needs internally, to ensure that the teammates understand the main framework, and to reduce the workload after the meeting.

    1. Grab the issue

    When the meeting is smooth and the communication skills are good, the meeting is prone to divergence. Unrelated topics must be interrupted if they diverge more than 0~2 minutes.

    Another common situation is that content is relevant but not at the right level. For example, too much discussion of details in a meeting of the communication framework requires interruption.

    For conference hosts, knowing what topics are easy to bring about divergence and detail discussion is avoided on its own.

    Can judge what topics need to be interrupted, whether the things discussed can help solve the problem, and irrelevant and timely interruption. The second way is appropriate. For example, your point is very useful. I wrote it down. When we discuss the details later, let’s look at the XX problem first.

    2. Break the deadlock

    Contrary to the above situation, the meeting was deadlocked. You need to analyze the cause of the deadlock, for example:

    • Participants do not know the subject / other people, you need to introduce the background.

    • Being technology/If the business problem is stuck, you can catch it and let it go. If you have a big problem, you can ask who knows this. Can you invite me now?

    • is stuck by institutional process and decision-making issues. In most cases, you need to know which leader to take the decision and give a corresponding solution. Do not make good decisions on major issues. For example: Go back and communicate with you, Mr. Li. If you want to do it, we will be XXX; if not, we will also give feedback to the leaders why not.

    • The other party deliberately does not cooperate. If you feel this, you need to explain your intentions and lower your body. It can be said that the leadership arrangements of both parties can show the benefits of cooperation. But don’t be self-professional and express high-level emotions.

    • The other party’s description is unclear. This situation requires you to use clear logic to help sort through the process and problems.

    For a temporary blocking problem, you can suspend the meeting and let the time solve the problem after scheduling the follow-up action.

    A further counter-example, a 10+ year senior consultant from tier2 came to our company some time ago. Zhangkou said that we have done business for more than ten years. After we explained it, she actually reported that 80% of the companies in the process were automated (this data does not know where to hear it, totally irresponsible attitude), which led us to squint and then perfunctory things. In the end, her interview was only the set of existing business information in her mind.

    3. Timely feedback confirmation

    The most taboo of communication needs is plausibility. The most fearful thing is that I don’t think I understand it. The following practices can reduce errors:

    • In the case of understanding, a brief summary in your own language will ensure that the understanding is correct and the requirements are clear at the same time.

    • For plausible questions, ask a few more sources to make sure you understand and make sure that the information provided by the interviewee is reliable, rather than accepting the wrong conclusion.

    • For questions that you don’t understand and are on the main line, don’t be shy about asking questions, don’t whisper, and ask questions directly in time. If it takes a while, I still don’t understandAnd the teammates understand, then you can consider passing.

    • For key nodes, you need to ask if your teammates understand it, otherwise the teammates in the second half may be a bodhisattva.

    often a vague place that hides potential needs. The generally clear and well-solved problem has long been solved. A few classic questions are:

    • How do you do the system now?

    • What are the problems you are having now? (The main point is the split problem, continuous questioning.) For example, if the automation rate is not high, then what are your steps in the whole process? Which steps have been automated and which have not? Are the existing steps fully automated? How to achieve it? What is the problem with no automated steps? Is it too complicated or is the production ratio too low?

    • What have you done to solve the problem? (This question can help you step on the pit)

    There are a lot of methods on the specific mining needs, so I won’t say much.

    4. Cooperate with guide

    In the words of development, demand can be done, just human problems. And we must guide users to save time and effort, but also guide customers to give up secondary contradictions.

    For the point to be guided, on the basis of understanding the needs, you need to have the following capabilities, so that you can talk about the guidance:

    • Know the actual business importance of the requirement

    • There are a number of major solutions to the needs of the conversation

    • Be aware of the labor costs of each major program

    • Know that the solution you are guiding does not solve the problem, is it fatal

    Provide questions to guide for unimportant or unreasonable business needs. Positive guidance is to illustrate the advantages of the solution, and reverse guidance is to point out the immature ideas of the business. Take the reverse question as an example:

    • Talk about opportunity costs: To do this, you need to invest a lot of IT manpower, which will make your other XXX needs unsupportable.

    • Talk about quality: If you do it according to your plan, it is not important enough to solve your current problems, but it will bring IT workload at a fixed time. The internal workload becomes larger and the quality will drop, including the rest of the functions ABC you value.

    • Talk about the impact of the follow-up business itself: how much human support is required for your business follow-up.

    • Talk about complexity: Let the development partners talk about the back-end implementation of the solution, drink water to let them answer the development questions.

    • Set up co-ordination questions: involve other business risks, please coordinate financial, legal, information security and so on.

    • Talk about process control: can do, but the project will bring online risks, you need to inform the project team and the leaders of both sides to verify; do not exceed the scope of SOW, Please raise the PMO.

    • Learn about industry experience: how do the leaders do it

    • Throwing Vulnerabilities: Quickly find vulnerabilities in the other side of the program (and no holes in my plan), let the other party give a solution.

    Forward guidance can tell you the advantages of your solution from the above perspective. However, if you encounter a big boss, you can only do more.

    5. Passing emotions and values

    You need to be able to sense the emotions of others in a timely manner and develop corresponding communication strategies. The specific content will be followed by time to write. Only when the emotions are stable and have a certain sense of trust, can they communicate effectively with each other.

    As an interviewee, the business outputs business knowledge, and you should give back some value when you receive it to maintain your sense of balance (even if the actual value is not equal). During the meeting or during the chat time, you can discuss something else with the business experts. This requires observing what others are interested in in communication. Always have to find some of your own outputpoint.

    For example, teaching business basic IT project management knowledge is one of my favorite things. After they understand the project management foundation, they can know how to cooperate with you to get the project online.

    The market conditions between the companies in the eighteen-eighth departments are all ok, so that you can understand the current situation and trends of the other departments.

    Communication and exchange career, for example, before I was an intern in Party B, I told the client how the college students are looking for an internship. How does the internship market feel? After listening to the customer, I feel that my internship recruitment sticker should be changed.

    4, follow up afterwards

    The output is better understood after the event, and the meeting minutes should be issued in time:

    • General meeting minutes have templates for recording meeting times, locations, people, and topics;

    • Contents record business needs communication conclusions, as well as important non-concluding communication. The minutes of the meeting are not a simple explanation of the content, and it is necessary to take the posture of writing the first draft.

    • The core of the minutes of the meeting is the to-do list, the initial plan, and the responsible person to resolve the time.

    For the items to be tracked, it is necessary to continue to follow up, and it is necessary to start the progress before the deadline, instead of ending the meeting minutes.

    For some other major issues that have an impact on the conclusions, the parties should be informed in a timely manner.


    Remember that when I first graduated from the trip, the children would not even be able to participate in the interviews. They could only draw the minutes of the seniors in the front line and have a certain fear of facing the business customers. In fact, interviews are the result of a mixture of comprehensive factors. On the surface, they are hosting interviews with demand. In fact, you are required to have a certain understanding of people and things to the business in order to proceed smoothly.

    In addition to some of the above, excellent business system knowledge, communication expressions, customer relationship maintenance capabilities, and well-matched partner teammates are all other conditions for successful interviews. This is not a one-off event. Be prepared early.

    The first time I wrote a text, it was mainly about some of the ideas that presided over the meeting, and there was not much abstraction. Welcome everyone to exchange~