My top 3 tips for awesome Digital Discovery workshops

Workshops haven’t moved on in the last 20 years

When you mention workshops to most people they’ll think of standing around brown paper with pens & post-it notes, talking about the same thing over and over and over. Tough sessions. The more arguments there are, the better the workshop.

Of course, this is a generalisation and as Digital Discovery Tools are growing in popularity, I’m going to share my top tips to make the most of this new breed of software.

Why use Digital tools?

People love post-it notes right? You don’t get the same engagement looking at a screen?

Wrong. Paper-based approaches aren’t slick, moving dozens of post-it’s around because you’ve suddenly remembered a step is a daunting task. Plus, rolling up the paper and spending days translating them into a digital format results in two major problems:

  1. Workshop output has a half-life. The longer between the workshop and the delivery of the output, the less impact it has
  2. It’s very difficult for one person to successfully translate what was captured into an accurate representation. Couple this with the time it’s taken, you lose engagement as people don’t relate to the output

My Top Tips

Over the years, and countless workshops, I’ve learnt the hard way. Here are my top tips:

  Use a common language

Even if you’re clever enough to have learnt BPMN, no one is going to be impressed with your use of connector symbols, diamond, squares, etc… Keep it simple, people don’t want to have to learn a whole new language to engage in the workshop. Learn more

  Don’t jump into the detail

It’s all too tempting to spend hours focussing on one part of the problem. You’ll get a far better picture if you start at a higher level, then break it down into the detail as needed. It also means you can get the right people in the room at the right time.

  Share it instantly

If you’re doing it right, the content should be shareable by the time the attendees are back at their desk. You want them to be able to review it whilst it’s still fresh in their minds, make that comment, ask that question. Also, they’re more likely to share it with people that didn’t make the workshop, gaining a wider level of feedback. Learn more

Using a Digital Discovery Tool, and my tips, will help you engage on a whole new level. You’ll be able to get to answers quicker, demonstrate instant value and move the audience onto the next stage sooner, be it future process improvements, system implementation, or something else.


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