How to prepare the room for a DDD Big Picture Event Storming

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Running a DDD Big Picture Event Storming is a great way to kick start a project. Fortunately, it only requires common supplies. Here is a detailed checklist.

This is the 4th post in a series about how to use Event Storming to kick start architecture on good tracks. If you want to learn how I got into Event Storming, I recommend you to start reading from the beginning.

In last week’s post, I went over the preparation for a successful DDD (Domain Driven Design) Event Storming workshop. Before we jump into the actual animation in next post, let’s see what material you’ll need.

An cardboard box written 'Event Storming'. It's opened in an empty room in preparation of a DDD Event Storming

A Visual Agenda

One thing I found useful to prepare before the session is a Visual Agenda. As I explained, DDD Event Storming can be very disturbing the first time, and people might feel a bit lost. Before the session begins, stick the Visual Agenda on the other walls of the room. Walking attendees through the different steps with a Visual Agenda will reassure them. It’s also a good way to highlight the few rules of Event Storming.

A Sample Visual Agenda for a full length DDD Big Picture Event Storming session

You can find explanations about how to prepare a Visual Agenda in the GameStorming book or website.

Cover of the Gamestorming book. This book contains a guide to create a visual agenda for your workshop. It was also one of the inspirations for the Event Storming workshop itself.

You must be wondering what the steps actually are. Don’t worry, I’ll cover this in the next post. For now, here is a list of other supplies you’ll need to run an DDD Big Picture Event Storming.

💡 DDD Event Storming can be a rather chaotic workshop. A Visual Agenda will reassure first time attendees.

Infinite Design Space

A photo of a very large design board spread on the wall. There is also extra paper roll to increase the design space if needed. DDD Event Storming requires a lot of design space to let us envision anything we want.

By far, the most exotic and difficult thing to get is a big enough wall to do the workshop. Alberto Brandolini, the inventor of Event Storming, recommends a 8 meters long wall. There are 2 goals:

  • not to feel limited in our design because of space
  • have enough place to let everyone walk around and collaborate

If you have a large enough room, this should be your first choice. Alberto says that corridors can be good candidates too. My own experience with this was not a great success. When we tried it, participants complained about other people coming and going all the time.

Once you have the room, you’ll need a large paper roll to stick your post-its on. This way, you’ll be able to move your design space. You’ll be safe in case you need to extend it, or if you decide to stick it in your workplace for a few days.

Post-its

A stack of Post-Its. DDD Event Storming makes a very heavy usage of Post-its. Some even say Event Storming was invented by 3M to sell more Post-Its 🤣

Event Storming consumes a tremendous amount of Post-Its, especially Orange, domain events, Post-Its. To summarize, you’ll need:

  • Many orange post-its, around one stack per person
  • pink post-its
  • large yellow post-its
  • small yellow post-its
  • blue post-its

Sharpies

A box of sharpies. Sharpies markers are great for writing on Event Storming Post-Its because they let us write just the right amount of words.

Obviously, people will need something to write on the post-its. Sharpies or small markers are the best. They are readable from a few meters, but still let you write enough words on a single post-it.

No Chairs, No Table

Typical meetings are boring and get people sleepy. In comparison, a successful Event Storming workshop keeps people energized and productive. Removing chairs and meeting tables in the area helps people to stay energized. We don’t want DDD Event Storming to become a long torture session either. As a consequence, we’ll need to schedule enough breaks.

A Small Table

We’ll need somewhere to place our post-its and sharpies. A small table will be the final addition to our setup.

Food

Photo of a few cookies. Food is a great addition to a DDD Event Storming. Attendees will praise you for it.

If you can, bring some food and drinks. The Workshop can be very tiring, having food around sustains attendees energy longer.

💡 I beg you to bring food to avoid #DeathByEventStorming

To be continued

This was the 4th post in a series about how to use Event Storming to kick start architecture on good tracks. In next post, we’ll see how what’s a typical agenda for the workshop.

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