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Workshop Tactics

Idea to prototype - how Workshop Tactics came to life.

Idea to prototype - how Workshop Tactics came to life.

Experiencing a workshop for the first time is like magic

Back when I worked at agency Code Computerlove, we got a new Director of Design. Tom Bradley. He had just moved from the BBC, and he brought with him new ways of working together, such as Google Ventures' Design Sprint.

Only after experiencing a Design Sprint for the first time did I see how powerful it is to have structured time together. Every meeting we had was like this. Tom always had something up his sleeve to get a useful outcome. Gone were the days of a rudderless meeting, with no useful input, and no meaningful outcome. We were getting stuff done!

If you've never experienced a well run workshop, you can’t appreciate how valuable they are. You don't know what you don't know.

But where did he get all these marvellous workshop ideas from? How did he know which one to run, and when? I wanted to create something that would help me feel more confident, and be like Tom. So I too, could know exactly what kind of session to run, and when to run it.

Frodge posting sticky notes 

There are a lot of workshops ideas out there already, why bother?

I began researching the best workshops I could find. Ones I knew were effective, and workshops I had never tried before. I was overwhelmed with choice! I digested the BBC's Creative Decision making playbook, which Tom worked on. Hyper Island's Toolbox, IDEO's Method Cards, and Atlassian's Team Playbook. Not forgetting the gold mine that is the Gamestorming book.

The problem was, there are so many workshops out there. How do you know if they are any good? I also found that a lot of them were over explained, and full of jargon. They were useful if you already knew the terminology, and had some experience already.

Atlassian's Playbook was the only thing close to what I had in my head. Though you still had to wade through mountains of paragraphs to understand what you had to do.

I wanted to create a set of workshops that you can trust to get you through almost any stage of a project or team. Most importantly, it had to be dead simple.

 

What if IKEA made a workshop exercise guide?

I thought, what if IKEA made instructions for running a workshop? That's when I started thinking about how to make them as easily digestible as possible. Cut out the jargon, remove the over-explanation - and just get to the point. 

I ran the idea past a few friends and colleagues. I soon learned that this was something that could potentially be useful for other people.

I slowly began to curate a shortlist. For the next six months, I edited and designed the first version Workshop Tactics. It is an amalgamation of every useful workshop I believe should be in your back pocket. It has been edited to give you the essential information, so it can fit on a shareable "recipe" card.


Continuous improvement will make Workshop Tactics work for everyone

I'm proud to say the first iteration of Workshop Tactics is now out in the wild. The purpose of this prototype is to learn if my assumption have hit the mark. Do people actually find it useful? How do people use them? Does any of it make sense?

The feedback from early testers will help develop the next iteration. Development will carry on this way until Workshop Tactics is in a state that works well for everyone who needs it.

 

 

I believe everyone has the potential to get the best out of their team. I believe workshops are a great way to do that. I want to give that to you, whether you're an experienced facilitator or a newbie. I want to empower you and your team. And I believe I can, with your help. 

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