Lessons Learned from my workshop at PMI Conf

attendes working on computerThis report is the first part of my relation from PMI conference this one is concentrated around My workshop and lessons learned from it.
Bellow is short TL; DR; if you don’t want to read the whole article:

  • My workshop was of an acceptable quality I could do better, but it could go much worse.
    Subjectively I am happy I have done it, but the effort put was too high in comparison to achieved results.
    Lessons learned:
    If you want to do whole day doing it as for free is out of the questions

What is PMI?

PMI aka Project Management Institute is an organisation for people associated with project management. On 24th and 25th May their Wroclaw chapter has held a conference with core theme “Fifty shades of change.”
I am not project manager I don’t have any experience in this area. So you may imagine my surprise when at the end of February my friend, one of the organisers. Asked me if I have the workshop that could fit into the conference theme.

I had sent her my proposal.


One of my goals for this year was to speak about testing, to other IT professionals.
Developers, Analytics, Product owners, managers to name few.
I have sent my proposals for few different conferences: Boiling frogs, front-trends, NIDC (i was accepted to do Lighting talk – Relation on the way)
Events like the one organised by PMI were a little outside of my scope. I don’t feel ready to talk my ideas to project managers. But my friend believed I had something to offer, and I didn’t want to disappoint her.

Somehow my workshop was accepted.

What Was the workshop about?

In short, its goal was to give Managers better insight what testers do.
You can read more here.

Preparation of the workshop.

I am not going to go full details here. Let’s say making workshop like this from scratch was a lot more job. Especially since I need to prepare the app for it which cost me a lot of time
I have spent something like 60 hours preparing the application,
There were few more issues workshop was on the threat of being cancelled due to the low number of interested people

TestSpheres – ordered the month before event arrive mainly day before it happened. (fortunately, I had managed to secure borrowed deck (thank you to Kamila and Monika)

Ok, so how workshop itself went?

Testspheres in actionBetter than expected worse then I hoped.

Seeing in how bed shape app was, how little time I have invested in slides. I wasn’t expecting good results.

But somehow it worked.

We started with a discussion about what participants wanted to get from this workshop. Fortunately for me, most of their goals seem achievable.

Then I’ve asked them how they understand testing. I love this question. One of my favourite sayings is “where two testers meet; there you will see three options what testing is?” And here again, we have seen entirely different ideas. I wish I had taken note of their explanations, but unfortunately, I hadn’t written them down :/

So little more about setup as you see on screen participant were split into two group each working together.

And we started with Waterfall!
After a short explanation, I have presented them with documentation (Which was by design out of date).
They had to read it, then that had some short time for questions.

And next, they had to write test cases. I have explained how simple test case looks like and how they can write it.

Of course, when the time comes for testing app had quite a few changes that

more testspheresDo you remember When I asked participants what they wanted from the workshop? We returned to that list and the very end. And most points were tackled at least in some degree. This is a success.

Lessons learned:

If you want to do materials for whole day workshop make sure that you will have the opportunity to reuse them.
Whole day workshop is a large project for one person it requires proper project planning, milestones and budget.
Especially budget of both time and money. So you will know when to cut kill project.
Due to the amount of work and cost going into it Don’t do such thing for free! Unless conference itself is free for participants.
Although my name is slowing becoming recognisable in the Polish testing world (or so I heard). It’s still far from being able to promote workshops like this dedicated to non-testers.
Hence, I need better abstracts and titles.

That all for now, next week I will do a shorter article dedicated to the conference itself.


Huge thank you for Objectivity for renting me Laptops to uses during the workshop.

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