Workshop Tactics: the best problem-solving workshops in a box
Workshop Tactics is a curated list of the best agile and design-thinking workshop techniques to help you lead your product team. Written by design consultant and Pip Decks founder, Charles Burdett.
Designed to guide you through the design process using group facilitation activities, each tactic can be used independently as a mini-workshop, or combined with multiple tactics to create Sessions.
You'll find: creative ideation workshops, energisers, icebreakers, retrospectives, root-cause analysis workshops, decision-making matrices and core facilitation techniques.
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Workshop Strategy System
Various ways to string multiple tactics together to make a longer, more in-depth workshop.
Agree on a desired end-state to work towards, so daily activity is moving you in the right direction.
Create a plan on how to achieve a specific goal.1-2 hours
Think about the company’s future by predicting what the press might say on their front pages.30 mins
Find out what your goals really are, the reasons behind them and what’s stopping you from achieving them.1 hour
Start with your goal and work backwards to give you a clear path on how to get there.30 mins
Unpack problems and discover insights with critical and analytical thinking exercises.
Collect assumptions that reflect what you and your team think might be true about the project.1 hour
Try to predict who is using (or will use) your product and why, so you can start testing with the right people.1 hour
Roles and Responsibilities
Understand each other’s roles better, and learn who is responsible for what.1 hour
Learn about each other’s skills, abilities and ambitions, so you can understand how to help each other grow.1 hour
When faced with a problem that is affecting a project, ask “Why?” five times to get to the root cause.30 mins - 1 hour
Articulate your problem or experiment in a clear way, so as to make it easier to start solving or testing.
A problem statement that captures the project’s goals, problems and measurable success criteria.1 hour
Treat your assumptions as experiments by turning them into testable hypotheses.30 mins
Clearly articulate the point of your service or product, who it’s for and what makes it unique.1 hour
Encourage coming up with lots of ideas, then refine the best into more detail.
Turn all your thoughts into an interconnected map so you have stimulus for idea generation.30 mins
Draw your idea as a sequence of key moments and real world interactions to better understand how it works.1-2 hours
Assess problems or ideas against certain criteria to understand them better.
Think about all the ways something might go wrong, so you can effectively plan to stop it from happening.1 hour
Rose, Thorn, Bud
Evaluate something’s positives, negatives and opportunities. Such as an idea, project or a process.30 mins
Heart, Head, Hand
Evaluate the usefulness, emotional resonance and business value of an idea.30 mins
Prioritise ideas or problems based on your needs in order to decide what to focus on.
Facilitate discussion to gain a better understanding of a team and progress towards goals.
Build a discussion agenda together and keep track of what’s been discussed, and needs to be discussed.1 hour
Three Little Pigs
Reflect on what’s going well, and what could be improved with the help of a childhood fable.1 hour
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Core techniques that are fundamental to facilitating a successful workshop.
Creating principles for a meeting or workshop is a 5-10 minute investment resulting in an engaged, productive and more effective group of people.5-10 mins
Warm up the room to make people more willing to contribute to the session you are about to run.10 mins