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A framework for workshop facilitation - UX Ireland 2016

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How many workshops have you been to that are poorly thought out or badly run, that drift aimlessly or have vague outcomes?

Workshop facilitation is a design skill that you can apply in all kinds of situations including ideation, gathering requirements and building consensus with cross functional teams. It's also an essential skill for anyone trying to reconcile differing viewpoints or align diverse needs.

This session will provide you with:

an understanding of what facilitation is and when to use it
an easy to remember framework for planning workshops
tips and tricks for making workshops go smoothly
ways to build trust, encourage participation and stay focused on outcomes

Published in: Design
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A framework for workshop facilitation - UX Ireland 2016

  1. 1. A FRAMEWORK FOR WORKSHOP FACILITATION
  2. 2. • Director of UX at MTT (soon to be Travelport Digital) • Managing design teams for over 10 years • Background in research and information architecture You can get me @matthewovington
  3. 3. WHAT WE WILL COVER • Walk through the agenda • Conflict, trust and facilitation • The framework and the 4 flows • Workshop practice
  4. 4. UNILATERAL vs MULTILATERAL • I am right and have others interests at heart. • Others are misinformed or have bad motives. • Purpose is to convince other to do what I want. • I have one perspective.
 • Others might see things I don’t.
 • Purpose is to make informed choices. THE ROOTS OF CONFLICT
  5. 5. CONFLICT RESOLUTION METHODS Low trust High trust High agreement Low agreement Negotiation Mediation Facilitation Arbitration
  6. 6. FACILITATION The art of guiding people through a process to agreed upon outcomes in a way that encourages creativity and participation from all involved.
  7. 7. BUSINESS VIABILITY CUSTOMER DESIRABILITY TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY VALUE
  8. 8. FACILITATION IS ABOUT BUILDING TRUST Different
 experience Same
 experience Same values Different values Multi cultural groups Cross functional teams Trust
  9. 9. THE BASICS Outcomes (and Outputs) 
 Agenda
 Rules (and Roles)
  10. 10. OOARRs
  11. 11. OARs
  12. 12. THE FOUR FLOWS Attention
 Energy
 Information
 Operations
  13. 13. OUTCOMES Purpose e.g. Improve interdepartmental processes Outcomes e.g. Shared understanding of issues and solutions Outputs e.g. List of actions for team leads
  14. 14. DEFINING OUTCOMES • Review the expectations of stakeholders • What do they hope to gain? e.g. an agreed position, a final decision, inspiration • What concerns do they have? • What background information or resources can they provide? • Identify themes • Echo their words in describing the outcomes • Write them down • Check outcomes against the initial purpose
  15. 15. Outcomes Title of workshop goes here Outputs Purpose EXERCISE 1
  16. 16. AGENDA • Clearly communicates the purpose, outcomes (and outputs if necessary). Important to • Get people's commitment to the meeting • Manage expectations • Flow of meeting
  17. 17. RULES AND ROLES • Are there any roles? • Depends on the nature of the meeting. • Are you going to ask ground rules to be observed? • Participants are self policing 
 e.g. “Don’t jump to solutions”
  18. 18. PLANNING THE AGENDA • What conversations / activities? • In what order? • How long will those activities take?
  19. 19. Agenda Outcomes Outputs Purpose OVERALL FLOW CONVERSATIONS Title of workshop goes here Duration
  20. 20. Introductions Know each others names. 5 mins. ON A POSTIT...
  21. 21. Planning the agenda Put chunks in order Add breaks (every 60-90 mins) Add/remove activities Review the outcomes Matches Outcomes? Estimate timing Yes No List all activities Group activities into chunks
  22. 22. A NOTE ON TIMING... Helps to work backwards from an estimate. Example If we estimate 45 minutes for 15 people to list ideas and present: • 15 people • 5 minutes = write 5 ideas • 75 ideas • 40 minutes to process 75 ideas • ~30 seconds per ideas • 15 people in 3 groups • 5 minutes = write 5 ideas • 15 ideas • 40 minutes to process 15 ideas • ~3 minutes per ideas
  23. 23. Agenda Outcomes Outputs Purpose OVERALL FLOW CONVERSATIONS Title of workshop goes here EXERCISE 2 Duration
  24. 24. RULE OF THUMB 3 hours prep per 1 hour of workshop. Up to 3 days prep for 1 day workshop.
  25. 25. THE FOUR FLOWS Attention
 Energy
 Information
 Operations
  26. 26. OPERATIONS Materials More than just PostIts and sharpies... Venue Access, room size, table layout, light, cleaners? Facilities Do we need wifi? Projector? Storage? Breaks Do I need to feed people? Dietary needs? Equipment Cables, cameras, batteries, clocks, speakers
  27. 27. INFORMATION Attention How long? What time of day? Information - clarity and understanding What will I need to prepare in advance? How much time do they need to read and prepare? Am I waiting for any information? Energy - trust and respect How well do people know one another Will they have had time to Operations - support decision making Good natural light Room - table size, chairs, arrangement, projectors or monitors, power points, wifi Confirm breaks Lunch - dietary needs, venues nearby, ordering food What level of knowledge exists? Is the level of attendee knowledge similar or different? What information best serves the purpose of the workshop? How much time do participants need to read and prepare? Am I waiting for any information?
  28. 28. ATTENTION Attention How long? What time of day? Information - clarity and understanding What will I need to prepare in advance? How much time do they need to read and prepare? Am I waiting for any information? Energy - trust and respect How well do people know one another Will they have had time to Operations - support decision making Good natural light Room - table size, chairs, arrangement, projectors or monitors, power points, wifi Confirm breaks Lunch - dietary needs, venues nearby, ordering food What can I do to focus the group? • Ask a question • Invite questions • Circulate agenda beforehand, and keep visible throughout • Re-iterate purpose and outcomes
  29. 29. ENERGY Attention How long? What time of day? Information - clarity and understanding What will I need to prepare in advance? How much time do they need to read and prepare? Am I waiting for any information? Energy - trust and respect How well do people know one another Will they have had time to Operations - support decision making Good natural light Room - table size, chairs, arrangement, projectors or monitors, power points, wifi Confirm breaks Lunch - dietary needs, venues nearby, ordering food Time of day Take into account natural variations e.g. after lunch Environment Natural light, temperature, food Activities Breaks, energising games to get people moving Presentations Rules about length, timed for high energy periods Interventions Calling out energy killers e.g. laptops
  30. 30. Agenda Outcomes Outputs Rules Roles Purpose OVERALL FLOW CONVERSATIONS Prework and prep tasks Materials Title of workshop goes here EXERCISE 3 Duration
  31. 31. WILDCARD 1 One of your key participants has forwarded on your invite and the number of people who are going to attend has more than doubled to 20. What could you do?
  32. 32. WILDCARD 2 The day before your meeting half your attendees warn you that their department's Christmas party is the day before the workshop. What could you do?
  33. 33. WILDCARD 3 Some of your attendees are on email and chat before you arrive. Some are making excuses about having to leave before the meeting is scheduled to end. What could you do?
  34. 34. ON THE DAY • Arrive early to set up • Welcome people and give introductions • Walk through the outcomes, agenda, rules and roles • Answer any questions • Confirm if anyone has specific hard stops or travel plans • If you feel you need it, have a car park* • Finish early
  35. 35. If you read one book read “How to Run a Great Workshop” by Nikki Highmore-Sims
  36. 36. VERY LAST THING... Questions @matthewovington We’re looking for a Product Designer http://bit.ly/2eLUPSS
  37. 37. OARS
 Outcomes
 Agenda
 Rules (and Roles) THE FOUR FLOWS
 Attention
 Energy
 Information
 Operations

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