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Event Storming Clarifies Complex Web Projects

Event Storming Clarifies Complex Web Projects

The results of an Event Storming workshop look similar to those of Design Sprints – there is a group of engaged people sitting together around a large whiteboard (or a long wall) full of colorful post-its. In both methods, the teams need to focus on the task at hand and cooperate, saving time on otherwise endless back-and-forth discussions.

But the Design Sprints let you solve one big problem over five days, while Event Storming enables you to quickly find out what’s happening in your company and brings clarity to all the ongoing web projects. It also helps to stay focused on your OKRs without losing track of potential obstacles.

The journey of product development can be very long and sometimes bumpy. It’s important to find these bumps before the train derails and more problems arise.  

What is event storming?

This workshop-based method rooted in the Domain-Driven Design (DDD) approach was invented by Alberto Brandolini in 2012. It’s used to map out the events in product development. The creator of the technique describes it as follows:

It is powerful: it has allowed me and many practitioners to come up with a comprehensive model of a complete business flow in hours instead of weeks.

It is engaging: the whole idea is to bring people with the questions and people who know the answer in the same room and to build a model together.

It is efficient: the resulting model is perfectly aligned with a Domain-Driven Design implementation style (particularly fitting an Event Sourcing approach) and allows for a quick determination of Context and Aggregate boundaries.

It is easy: the notation is ultra-simple. A lack of complex UML that might cut off participants from the heart of the discussion.

It is fun: I always had a great time leading the workshops, people are energized and deliver more than they expected. The right questions arise, and the atmosphere is the right one.

Alberto Brandolini

What event storming can be used for

It brings people together. Developers, stakeholders, business representatives – everybody has a role to play, and because everything is connected, everyone should be aware of the importance of all the other roles.

It gives us simple tools and understandable rules to visualize even the most complex processes and systems – making use of the full potential of our development team and everyone knowing the process inside out. 

Event Storming enables us to examine the designed product from a fresh perspective with all its needs, objectives, and problems. By taking a closer look at each stage of development, with everyone involved, you can become more aware of all the difficulties that could occur along the way.

This is how you can identify what’s working and what’s not. And, more importantly, now you have a map of the whole process, and the people engaged in each step, in front of you. 

Additional value of event storming

Bringing people together, sparks conversation. The whole group has a chance to discuss the needs and obstacles from their point of view and to get to know each other better. It accelerates collaborative group learning and allows your development, and terminology, to align with that of the business domain representatives.

One of the principles of Event Storming is to use simple language everyone can understand, without professional jargon. Great communication is the key to success in every project.

Event Storming engages and integrates development and product teams, inviting them to participate and interact in a fun way. People with questions meeting the people with answers in a hands-on experience? Sounds good!

What does event storming look like?

Before we explain how to conduct the Event Storming workshops, you should know some basic principles of the method. 

It all starts with an open floor, unlimited modeling space, and many colorful post-its. But most of all, you need to gather a group of people – developers, stakeholders, and anyone else who would be vital to the process. 

After hours of discussion and negotiating, the group agrees on the final look of the model they create. Everything is written on the post-its stuck to the modeling space. At first sight, it looks like a colorful mess, but as a matter of fact, this is the time when everything becomes crystal clear. If you gather the right people, you can be sure that the workshops will be successful.

Event storming to get the bigger picture

Creating a well-functioning web project is no easy feat. Areas of conflict, bottlenecks, scope creep – many challenges arise pending development. The reasons for these situations are usually the lack of understanding of how each phase should look, and unsurprisingly, poor communication among teams and stakeholders. 

It can be difficult for non-technical people to grasp developers’ problems, just as it can be hard for developers to understand the dilemmas of non-technical people. The easiest and most efficient way of overcoming all these obstacles is to create a business model that looks at the bigger picture and enables further growth. 

Event Storming helps to better understand and develop the bigger picture of your business, or project at hand, bringing technical and non-technical team members together. Group collaboration accelerates the process of what could otherwise be a lot of long back-and-forth conversations – efficiency is the name of the game.