Discombobulation, Fire-Breathing Dragons and Wet NoodlesCreating Productive Workshops in Scary Situations Beth Koloski Lead Experience Architect
Beth KoloskiLead Experience ArchitectEffectiveUI
Today’s objective:• Get ideas for dealing with scary situations in workshops• Feel more comfortable going in to your next workshop• Get ideas for design workshop activities
• No one participates• Only one person participates• They think this activity is silly• The ‘boss’ discourages others from participating• The mean person• I can’t control the group or someone in the group• No one agrees• We don’t get through everything we need to get through• Everyone is stuck in their mindset…I can’t seem to unstick them
Workshop Facilitation 101
Own the process.
+Own the process. Share ownership for the outcome.
What if nobody participates?
Draw out a silent participant • Direct questions to the silent participant • Ask the silent participant to react to someone elses statement • Reinforce • Check in during a break • Solicit help
Provide a structure • Pair then report • Stickie exercises • One minute each • Simply say, "Turn to the person next to you and discuss this." • Design games and activities * * this is the fun part
Still pulling teeth? • smaller groups • more hands on • ask what’s blocking • check initial objectives
What if one person dominatesthe whole conversation?
Dealing with excessive talkersAvoid discouraging the excessive talker, instead.... • At the start of the meeting, establish equal participation by all members as a goal • Interrupt the person with a question directed to someone else • Pair then report • Air time limits • Ask others to react • Design games and activities
What about the mean naysayer whois poisoning the collaborative tone?
Dealing with Negative Nelly • special attention on breaks • validate
What if one person shutseveryone else down? What ifit’s the main stakeholder?
Dealing with Stakeholder Shutdown Before the workshop: • Make sure your stakeholder knows what you are planning to do, that you expect participation During: • Restate your need to hear from everyone • Ask that person to give permission to others to participate • Suggest a short-term solution “Let’s try this for 45 minutes”
“It’s my first day and the clientsare yelling at each other.”
Prep• know who is coming• set expectations• solicit stakeholder’s desires, concerns• invite participants• reschedule if needed
Opening• set expectations for behavior• get buy in on objective• working buy in on agenda• change agenda if needed• let go of “everything else I should be doing” http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dmahugh/archive/2009/06/29/wg4-wg5-meetings.aspx
What if they just say “That’sthe way we’ve always doneit?”
Ideas for unfixing fixed ideasDon’t attack the idea head on, instead....• Have them argue from the other perspective• Break down pros & cons, assumptions, unknowns• Get the right participants• Enumerate the ways the fixed idea has served them• Explore the consequences of the fixed idea
Lack of Consensus
Building Consensus & Deciding• Stake in the ground/working agreement• Acknowledge and record opposing views• Dot Vote• Thumbs up/down vote
“I’m doing all theactivities, but we’restill not getting toconsensus.”
Ideas for Dealing with Lack ofConsensus• Ask who decides• Ask what’s standing in the way of deciding• Ask if consensus is needed• Go backwards
Managing Time101• Parking Lot• Get the group to help manage http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnnap/5571400637/
Managing Time201When it becomes apparent you’re not gettingwhere you thought you would, decide as a group:• Timebox the topic/activity and continue another time,• This important, let’s keep going (and reschedule the other stuff for later)• We’ve gotten what we need out of this, let’s just move on• This approach isn’t working, let’s take a http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawnnap/5571400637/ different one
When all else fails• acknowledge what’s going on if something is going awry• suggest a solution• ask the group
Design Workshop Activities
Engaging in User ResearchGo Around the RoomEach participant says what stoodout most from the usabilitysession, study, survey
Thinking Like UsersEmpathy MapParticipants fill in what a particulartype of user is hearing, thinking,seeing, saying and doing. http://www.flickr.com/photos/davegray/2380465521/
Thinking About Users:4 SquareFor each user type, participantshelp fill in each of the following:• goals• triggers• would find compelling• would find disappointing
Prioritizing/Choosing:Dot VotingGive each participant 3 dots tovote on their favorite/the mostimportant (feature, persona, taskflow, whatever).
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators,Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray
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