Before the term „Event Storming” is uttered, the time when Contractors clarify the provisions of their contracts with new Customers is always fraught with some similar questions:
„Do you know X?”
„Do you know how our business should work?”
„What if we don’t understand each other at first?”
The answer to all these concerns usually seems obvious: Scrum. We create an environment for ourselves, within which we set the conditions to drive the project in the direction everyone wants – to produce a product or service. And then it’s just a matter of acceptance every two weeks, retrospectives, planning. And what if we want to be even more precise?
At DevOpsi we usually start our cooperation with a new Client from Event Storming.
Let’s take the first definition of Event Storming. From Wikipedia: Event storming is a workshop-based method to quickly find out what is happening in the domain of a software program. Hmm, so it turns out that ES is a method to learn a new domain of software. Ok. So if we already have such a powerful tool, why not use it to learn about the Customer’s Business?
That’s what we’re doing. We use ES to get to know a new Customer and their Business. How?
We start designing
It’s best to start from the essence of our project, from the problem that we have to solve. We discuss in detail with the Customer each of its elements. Then we start designing it. Children would probably say that it is a part of an adult’s game. In this design, we use different colored pieces of paper. However, don’t be confused by the use of this simple tool. What we achieve in this way is the core of our inquiry.
We add the current envelope of systems and processes to what we have developed. At this stage, it often turns out that systems or processes ver. problem solution – they duplicate. It’s shown only in the session with us. It’s when decisions are most often made.
Someone might ask now: why do you need the same process in two different places?
Implement a process
From an economic point of view, it is better to leave it at its current location. However, thanks to ES, we can quickly recreate it, design it and most importantly, pre-estimate its labor consumption. Therefore, the decision to implement a process in a new system is quick.
What next? We move on to the next piece of paper. For example, the one on which the process of sending invoices to accounting was designed. Let’s hypothesize that in the project we are currently working on, this is a manual process. We already know that the administration team spends 5 hours a day on it. Short coffee break. It may prove to be a pivotal moment during ES. After the break, a DevOpsi developer comes up with an idea to save those 5 hours and automate the process. We discuss its details. The Customer needs several minutes to discuss the topic. He asks us to do additional work – on automating the sending of invoices to accounting.
Creative atmosphere or the role of the facilitator
Ok. All sounds good, but how does the process work?
Is Event Storming the right place for Business?
Won’t the developers flood us with technical questions?
So let’s get started.
From our side, there is always a person who leads the whole workshop, a facilitator. It’s usually a technical person, but at the same time, he (or she) has a good understanding of Business people. The task of this person is to create an appropriate, creative atmosphere during the meeting, to achieve the goal of the workshop. The role of a person of this rank is crucial at this stage. It should moderate the discussion and direct the parties to when they should post the sequent note.
Speaking of those notorious cards.
We conduct an Event Storming session in any place – two things are key:
– so that there is no lack of space for anyone;
– and that the cards would stick to the walls.
Cards – color matters
If we have fulfilled both conditions, we can start sticking:
We need several colors of cards. Each of them will mean something different, e.g.:
- red – a domain event;
- green – an actor in the process;
- yellow – aggregates;
- blue – commands.
We arrange the cards sequentially. We start with domain events. Sometimes an event can be defined by a system – as in the case of Keykloack, for example. Each card is a point of discussion between Customers and our manufacturing team. Thanks to that, we give a breath of freshness to every process.
Event Storming sessions
Is Event Storming the right tool for Business? Definitely yes! The facilitator always leads the session in such a way that both parties, the Business and the Contractor’s Production Team, get the most out of the session. Thanks to such sessions, a lot of Customers managed to find many gaps in their business processes or business analysis.
Won’t the developers flood us with technical questions? That is why we talk about developers in the plural. Even if the Customer needs the One Man Army at the beginning, there are still at least three developers in the session. It’s to get to know and internally discuss the key issues. And ask the right business questions too. So that the Customer has a good understanding of both the questions and the intentions of their authors. Technical issues are usually considered between people specialized in this area. After presenting the appropriate options, the Customer can influence the choice of solution to the problem.
Event Storming vs. tasks
The question we hear most often is: „Why do I need Event Storming?”. We patiently answer:
- To let the Customer know the problem.
- So that the Customer can validate his Business Analysis;
- To collide ideas of experienced developers with the Business;
- To be able to specify tasks for the first sprints.
Thanks to ES we can locate the place where we need to start. This also allows us to define the scope of tasks for the first sprints. Thanks to ES planning or estimating the work takes less time – thanks to the knowledge gained by the production team.
Is Event Storming profitable?
Of course, it does. Not only because after signing the contract, but we also offer the Event Storming sessions to our Customers free of charge. The knowledge gained during these several hours of workshops is invaluable. Thanks to Event Storming, DevOpsi developers can quickly enter any industry, at no cost to the Customer.