A simple design for a good workshop

Moderators, team leads, scrum masters – no matter what you are, if you moderate a workshop, please don’t do it like this:

Typical design for bad workshops

I have attended to a couple of workshops that started with goals but in the end the results were not achieved goals but utter chaos and a lot of new todos.

Workshops should facilitate a team to work on something. They are not meant to create random new homework. Some managers define a good workshop as „a lot of todos are created and assigned to people to do them by a certain day (who does what by when)“. But many team members would like to see a workshop where decisions are made, problems are solved and work gets better instead of bigger.

A simple way to keep them working towards a goal and focus their energy is this:

By making goals, methods and concrete, desired key results transparent from the beginning, you avoid confusion and focus energy

Just hang the templates on the wall for everybody to see right from the beginning. And hang a blank template for the desired outcome next to it: „Guys, this is what we will fill out at the end of the workshop. This will be your result“. Then discuss if the results template really is what they need. And if the methods you brought, really work.

This is no rocket science. But thousands of people per day, sitting in meetings and workshops would be very happy if their moderator followed that simple design.

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