Workshop or traditional meeting?
A workshop breaks with a traditional perception that decisions are made only in a fixed format with a speaker, audience and a PowerPoint show.
A workshop is an alternative and participatory format that can serve multiple functions. A workshop can provide a common understanding of a problem, and can create a shared platform to address the challenges.
The specific format, that is based on stakeholders and users, often creates a greater sense of ownership among the project group, or it can be intended to bring new perspectives into the development process.
There is not necessarily a strict separation between a meeting and a workshop. A traditional meeting can for example be made much more relevant and engaging by introducing a brainstorming session or a debate on specific user inputs. For the workshops we hold - we spend a lot of time planning what methods that should be used to create the most value.
Organization of the workshop
Hold a preparatory meeting with the project group. Align expectations and agree on the workshop's purpose.
Select the participants of the workshop and the methods you want to use. Feel free to contact MindLab for feedback or adaptation of individual methods.
Find a balance between quantitative and qualitative inputs.
• Presentation of data and user perspectives.
• Group work- what are the challenges? What value creation will we achieve? Idea development.
Plan, so there is a balance between short presentations, plenary discussions, exercises and group work.
Consider making posters that participants have to fill out during the group work. They can also be useful at the plenary discussions and can subsequently be used as reference.
Write a script for the workshop - a script for the day.
Be sure to have a good and preferably inspiring room available. You may need to move around the tables and chairs for the group work.
Welcome the participants and make the day’s objective and program clear to them. Consider beginning with an exercise to shake the group together, for example, about what motivates them about this project?
Consider getting the participants to introduce themselves, and bring name tags.
If the participants are divided into groups, it can be advantageous to have a facilitator in each group to ensure that the work is consistent with the workshop's purpose.
The work after a workshop is as important as the preparation and execution. It is crucial to follow up on all the day's insights. Preferably, make a plan for how you will follow up and continue the workshop.
You can send an email to the participants with a note about how the next step of the process will take place.