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.
Join Kent McDonald as he walks 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 describes the questions, why they work and in what context they work based on his experience with IT organizations and the Agile Alliance. 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.
- Learn what socratic questioning is
- Learn how to identify your stakeholders needs using socratic questioning
- Practice socratic questioning with your peers
- Determine when Socratic question is an appropriate technique to use
What Is Socratic Questioning?
Socratic Questioning is a dialog structured by a series of questions intended to draw out answers.
When Do You Use Socratic Questioning?
- Discover the real need
- Gain deeper understanding about assumptions
- Help someone learn something.
Types of Questions in Socratic Questioning
|Clarification||What do you mean when you say…?|
|Probe Assumptions||What are your assumptions and how did you arrive at them?|
|Probe Reasons and Evidence||Why does that happen?|
|Viewpoints and perspectives||Is there a different way to look at this?|
|Implications and Consequences||What are the implications of…?|
|Questions about the question||Why do you think I asked that question?|
Things to Consider:
- Listen – use the response to one question to guide your next question.
- Start the discussion with a list of questions but be willing to explore relevant ideas.
- Ask clear, specific, open ended questions.
- Wait – give your stakeholders a chance to answer.
- Follow up and ask for elaboration.
- Summarize periodically.