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How to Find the Real Need with Socratic Questioning

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A common piece of advice is that your team should discover the true need of your project. Unfortunately advice on how to make that happen isn't as prevalent. In this session you'll have a chance to practice a simple technique to get to the core of what your stakeholders need that has been around for over 2000 years - Socratic questioning.
Kent McDonald and Heather Mylan-Mains walk you through a technique aimed at uncovering the (not intentionally) hidden need that your stakeholders are trying to satisfy, without asking "why?" five times in a row. Kent & Heather describes the questions, why they work and in what context they work based on their experience with IT organizations. You'll then have a chance to practice them out to find out about a real project.
The line of questioning was inspired by Brennan Dunn who uses them to understand the true needs of his web development consultants.
Come learn about and practice this technique so you can use it back at the office to drive toward the right outcome.

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How to Find the Real Need with Socratic Questioning

  1. 1. How to Find the Real Need with Socratic Questioning Kent J. McDonald kent@kbp.media @beyondreqs Heather Mylan-Mains mylanmains@msn.com @heatherm_m https://www.kbp.media/real-need-with-socratic-questioning/
  2. 2. Pair up. One person (A) think of a project.
  3. 3. Person without a project (B) find out about (A)’s project.
  4. 4. Discover the true need of your project
  5. 5. Deliver Outcomes, not Outputs
  6. 6. I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think. -Socrates
  7. 7. Socratic Questioning is a dialog structured by a series of questions intended to draw out answers.
  8. 8. Potential series of questions 1. What is the project? 2. When did you realize you needed to do this project? 3. What problem does this project solve? 4. What is the impact to your organization of that problem? 5. How much is that problem costing your organization? 6. How should tomorrow look after we’ve solved this problem? 7. What are the next steps?
  9. 9. Considerations
  10. 10. Person (B) use Socratic Questioning to find out about Person (A)’s project
  11. 11. Discover the real need Gain deeper understanding about assumptions Help your team solve a problem.
  12. 12. Six Types of Questions
  13. 13. If you remember nothing else… Socratic questioning provides answers through a series of questions 14 Discover the true need of your project in order to understand the outcome you want to deliver
  14. 14. Photo Credits Slide Photo Discover the true need of your project https://unsplash.com/@evankirby2 Deliver Outcomes, not Output https://unsplash.com/@camadams Bust of Socrates http://www.bigstockphoto.com Ask More Questions https://unsplash.com/@jdsimcoe If you remember nothing else https://unsplash.com/@dnmgns Photo Credits https://unsplash.com/@chancema
  15. 15. Don’t Forget to Leave Feedback Kent J. McDonald kent@kbp.media @beyondreqs Heather Mylan-Mains mylanmains@msn.com @heatherm_m https://www.kbp.media/real-need-with-socratic-questioning/
  • whilpert

    May. 6, 2018
  • ekurosu

    Feb. 23, 2018
  • GToronto

    Aug. 14, 2017

A common piece of advice is that your team should discover the true need of your project. Unfortunately advice on how to make that happen isn't as prevalent. In this session you'll have a chance to practice a simple technique to get to the core of what your stakeholders need that has been around for over 2000 years - Socratic questioning. Kent McDonald and Heather Mylan-Mains walk you through a technique aimed at uncovering the (not intentionally) hidden need that your stakeholders are trying to satisfy, without asking "why?" five times in a row. Kent & Heather describes the questions, why they work and in what context they work based on their experience with IT organizations. You'll then have a chance to practice them out to find out about a real project. The line of questioning was inspired by Brennan Dunn who uses them to understand the true needs of his web development consultants. Come learn about and practice this technique so you can use it back at the office to drive toward the right outcome.

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