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The Workshopper Playbook - Book

Last updated Aug 15, 2023

# Information

# Highlights

Recurring Problems:

  1. Teams didn’t know how to best start projects
  2. No clear, unified system in place for the actual running of a project
  3. Poor communication during the prohect stifled creativity and progress

Root Cause:

we (me, my clients, my previous employer, and virtually every company I’d ever come into contact with) ==didn’t have a recipe== for starting projects, structuring discussions, and committing to a plan of action to get meaningful work done.

no systems for making big decisions, no systems for getting people to collaborate in a way that doesn’t make everyone want to kill each other

# Section 1: Becoming a Workshopper

Without a facilitator, the Design Sprint is like an orchestra without a conductor, like a recipe for a complicated meal, without a chef to cook it.

The facilitator’s role in a Design Sprint is to be the ==guide== – to be the person to run teams through the exercises in the Design Sprint, and take all the weight of the small decisions off their shoulders.

the singular goal of a Workshopper is to ==unlock people’s superpowers==

# The Essential Workshop Principles

  1. “Together, alone”
  2. Everything is anonymous
  3. Creativity is nice to have but it is not essential

# The 4 Steps to Becoming a Workshopper

  1. Mindset and theory
  2. Facilitation skills
  3. The Toolkit
  4. Battle-tested workshop recipes

# Section 2: The Perfect Workshop Framework

# The 4C’s Framework
  1. Collect: The Collect phase is where the ==scope of work for a project or challenge is defined.==
  2. Choose: The Choose phase of the workshop ==gives clear direction== and ==acts as a foundation== for everything else.
  3. Create: it’s time for team members to create solutions. Solutions don’t need to be final, or even well thought-out – at this point it’s more about ==creating multiple potential solutions.==
  4. Commit: the Workshopper helps participants to ==commit to a small number of solutions== that will be executed on and discard/de-prioritize others, while also helping the team ==define the next steps==
# Key Terminology
# Collect

The goal of the Collect phase is to ==collect challenges and data from a team==, then ==visualize== it in a way that’s easy for everyone to ==understand.==

# Choose

To help a team choose what to work on, what to focus on and what to ignore for now.

While the Collect phase is about quantity and volume, the Choose phase is about narrowing down and refining, so no new ideas or concepts should be generated or introduced here.

# Create

workshops democratize the creative space

The goal of the Create phase of a workshop is to generate lots of solutions to the prioritized problem.

By the end of the Create phase you want to have a handful of prioritized solutions to take into the next phase: the Commit phase.

# Commit

Cards/Ideas are just a multiplier of execution . . . Ideas are worth nothing unless they’re executed.” – Anything You Want, Derek Sivers

Companies don’t have a problem coming up with good ideas, no, companies have plenty of ideas! ==The problem is that they can’t choose which ones to commit to and execute and which ones to ignore.== They don’t have systems for commiting to ideas and really seeing them through, they often try to do every idea at once and never do any of them well.

The goal of the Commit phase is to take our prioritized solutions and create a plan of action for actually making it happen.

# Section 3: You’re A Workshopper

# AJ&Smart Free Training Webinar
# Facilitation Guidebook
# Workshop Preparation
# How to Give Clear Instructions
# Principles of Remote Facilitation
  1. Energy
    1. Bring way more energy than you normally would
    2. Leave time for a warm-up and icebreaker activity
    3. Put on some workshoppy music
    4. Have more breaks than you would in a normal workshop
  2. Communication
    1. Slow down
    2. Buffer in a bit more time for discussions
  3. Guidance
    1. Make use of progressive disclosure: only share information participants need to know
    2. Minimize the neec to switch between a video call and the remote collaboration board
  4. Sort Out the Tech
    1. Have a plan B for every single tool you’re using
    2. Prepare for the worst-case scenario, have several backups
  5. Simplicity
    1. Keep it simple
    2. Don’t overcomplicate