Remote Design Thinking: How to Design and Run a Workshop for Remote Teams | Joe Lalley | Skillshare

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Remote Design Thinking: How to Design and Run a Workshop for Remote Teams

teacher avatar Joe Lalley

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Identifying A Good Problem

    • 4. Researching The Participants

    • 5. Preparing Your Participants

    • 6. Preparing Your Timeline

    • 7. Final Run Through

    • 8. What To Look Out For

    • 9. Keeping The Momentum

    • 10. Review & Wrap up

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About This Class

The workforce is changing. Many organizations are sourcing talent wherever it may be, and technology is enabling teams to connect with each other seamlessly across the globe.

Join Joe Lalley to learn how remote teams can achieve the benefits of using design thinking.  This course is for anyone who is part of a remote team and believes in the design thinking methodology as an effective way to approach, understand and solve complex problems. This can be used for specific projects, to redesign teams or processes, or to learn how to use design thinking within a remote working environment.  

Design Thinking has long been viewed as an effective methodology, but it has traditionally relied on teams being in the same location.  

If you are part of the remote workforce revolution and have used or want to learn more about design thinking, this course is for you!

Meet Your Teacher

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Joe Lalley


Joe Lalley leads an agency-style product organization at PwC, delivering a mixture of digital products and design thinking workshops where they cover user research, data analysis, and iterative prototyping to deliver solutions to PwC and PwC’s clients.

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Business Management

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1. Intro : If you had told me five years ago that a team leveraging design thinking methodologies could be effective without being in the same physical location, I would have told you you were crazy. What about the Post? It notes. What about the Sharpie markers? But I have to say, after lots of experimentation, I can confidently say that remote teams can use design thinking effectively on all kinds of projects. My name is Joe Lyly, and in this course I'll teach you how to design and deliver your own remote design thinking workshop first a little bit about me. For most of my career, I've worked in the product development, product, management, product designs, space, either as a member of a team or leading teams, and in all of it, it's been focused mostly on the user experience for digital products, mobile websites, mobile applications, integrations with television shows, things like that. Throughout all of that, I've been a big proponent of leveraging design, thinking. Teoh really understand problems to really research users and understand their pain points, their motivations, their needs and using that information to design great experiences that solve problems for users. Throughout most of my career, I've also been part of co located teams, meaning we worked in the same office. We sat near each other when we were working on a project. We would get together in a conference room with a big white board and use sticky notes on dry erase markers and all sorts of those tools that I really enjoy get lots of energy from . And I also would always get the energy from being just physically in the same space with my colleagues. About 3.5 years ago, I left and joined a new organization where my role would be primarily remote, meaning I would be sitting in a different city from most of the people that I work with. And I spend most of my days on video calls. Eso I'm typically not in the same space as my colleagues, and I have to admit, when I first started this role, I was nervous. I really believe in design, thinking I had never known it to be something you could do remotely, and I wasn't sure how it would go. And after lots of experimentation, I can say confidently that it is really effective and can be a great way to work remotely. So what do I mean by a workshop? In my current role, my team and I are responsible for delivering lots of the things that I had been focused on in past roles, lots of mobile experiences, desktop Web experiences, lots of digital products. And one of the things that's been really exciting recently is that we use a lot of design thinking to just deliver those projects. But a lot of other teams throughout the organization have reached out to me and asked if we can help them workshop problems. So I'll use the word workshop almost as a verb here. And it can mean something that is sort of fully fleshed out and organized in a full day. Or it could just mean a meeting that a team has to get together and really just rally around a problem. So So we've experienced this recently, where many other teams have asked if we can help them understand how to approach a problem they're facing in their world in their part of the organization. And because many of those teams are also remote, like like my team is, we've had to do those in a remote way, so that's been really exciting. So when I say the word workshop, I it could mean many things if it generally means sort of approaching a problem. And that's what we'll talk about in this lesson. If you're a believer in design thinking as I and you found yourself part of the remote workforce, then this is the course for you. In this course, you'll learn how to design and deliver your own remote design thinking workshop. I'll cover tools that you can use for remote collaboration. Also go through tips and tricks and things to look out for when delivering a workshop where all of your participants will be in different locations. I'll start with some of the preparation phase is to get you going, identifying a good problem and understanding your participants a bit more so you can design effectively some tips in the lead up, like developing a good and effective and accurate timeline. Ah, final run it through for you and your facilitation team and then some things to keep an eye out for when you're running a full day workshop. Finally, I'll end with something that I hope will help you help your participants keep the momentum going with a little exercise where they can make a commitment to apply something they've learned. One thing I should also point out for this course is that while I will talk about the concepts of design thinking and gives some overviews, I'll mostly be focusing on how to apply design thinking in a remote setting. So if you're looking for a full kind of overview of the concept of design thinking, I highly recommend some other courses that you may search for here. But this one will assume that you have some experience either working within a team that applies design thinking or have attended some sort of a workshop. 2. Class Project: for your course project, you'll have two options. I will encourage all of you to apply each of the things that you learn in the lessons to a problem or Challenger project that you are facing in your own job. Currently, if there isn't a good one or an obvious one for you than out, provide a a problem area that I think you can apply your class project against. It's something that my team and I have seen probably more often than other ideas. But we've applied workshops to all sorts of different areas. We've helped a team redesign their their recruiting process for candidates. We've helped teams with the process of sharing knowledge across the team. We've helped teams redesign their value proposition and the experience that their clients and stakeholders have with them. So we've applied it in lots of different ways, and if you don't have an obvious one, then I'll provide one that you can use throughout your course project. 3. Identifying A Good Problem: identifying a good problem. A good workshop needs a good problem. In this lesson. I'll go through an activity that you can use to help ensure that you have a good problem area to focus on for the workshop that you will lead. You're going to need five things. One. You'll need to have identified the facilitation team members, and that may just be you, or it may be you and a few colleagues. You'll also need to have identified the participants who will be a part of the workshop. Third, you'll have to have 30 minutes scheduled on the calendar at some point in the near future. And for that meeting you'll need your fourth thing, which is some sort of a screen sharing tool. You can use something like Google hangouts or zoom or WebEx. We tend to use Google hangouts for most things because it's pretty easy to use, and then fifth, you're going to need a remote collaboration tool. And for the next portion, I'm gonna demonstrate one that we often use called mural M. U R. A. L mural is essentially a virtual white boarding tool where you can collaborate remotely with colleagues and do many of the things that you can do on a physical whiteboard. I'll start by just giving a little bit of background on the tool, and then I will demonstrate a bit of its functionality and walk through the activity very quickly. Mural is a Web based tool, so you do not need to install anything on your computer. And as I mentioned before, it works similarly to the way a physical whiteboard works So many things that my team and I are able to do on a physical whiteboard. We will do here remotely. They do offer a free trial version, which you can try out for this class project, and I'll show you a little bit of the functionality. So in the left hand side you have a toolbar, and if you click on this, it will open a drawer, and the tool uses the concept of rooms and boards so similar to a conference room in an office and a board in that conference room. The same sort of concept applies, so a couple of things you can look at so there are lots and lots of templates, which you can use for all sorts of things. there are. There's a jeopardy game. There are con Bond boards, things for project management, ideation, lots and lots of different templates that are available to you, and you can also create your own. So in this case, I have created templates that I will share with you that you can use for your class projects. Also, there is the concept of rooms, open rooms and private rooms there. In this case, there is one room, and it has a couple of the templates that I'll share with you. So let me jump into a board. So once you're in a board, there's some functionality that is available to you again in the left hand side. With this toolbar, you can open up this toolbar and have access to sticky notes of three different sizes, and you can drag sticky notes onto the board, and you can type things ideas. So this is very similar to physical sticky notes on a white board. The other things that I'll go through really quickly are you can add shapes. So I have done this here where I've just created boxes. I generally like to create kind of spaces that that will work within. So provide borders, too. Sticky notes sessions or ideation rounds, which sort of helps keep the team focused. There's some other things you can add. Icons. There are some simple frameworks like to buy two grids that you might want to use that are pretty handy. You can add images. You can also do some Freehand drawing, which I'll demonstrate in a later lesson. Okay, so at this phase in your project, you are trying to identify a good problem for your workshop to be centered around. And here is the activity that I recommend so you can use this. And as I mentioned, you only need 30 minutes. So the way it will start and for this I'm just gonna use a made up team will call this the the lemonade stand team. So what I generally will ask participants to do is once they are in the in the screen sharing application, meaning their Google hangouts or WebEx, I will usually share my screen just to make sure people know what I'm looking at and get a little bit acclimated. And then I'll begin the activity once they are so. The first step is usually to ask the team to list their strategic goals, and a team might have a mission statement or something that is pre defined. And if they have that, that's great. You can just skip to step three, but sometimes teams do not. So if I were to ask the lemonade stand team to list their strategic goals, it would look something like this. So team members will be in here all at the same time. Adding ideas. One strategic goal for the lemonade stand team could be cell the most lemonade, and another team member might focus on cost, uh, sell lemon lemonade as cheaply as possible, and another team member might focus on maybe delight the the most fun lemonade stand on the block, right? So when you're doing this for a riel team, this board will start to fill up very quickly. And I always Time box this So within mural there is a timer feature where you can set time and you can set it for whatever you've allocated. I allocate three minutes for this, and the time goes by quickly, but usually this board is very full. Once the three minutes has passed, then you do a very quick voting round. And this is a feature that I think works better remotely than it does in person. So within this tool, there is voting capability. So the way this works is a top. You have voting button, you can name your voting session, so usually I give it a quick name. And I generally give people three votes per and I instruct them that they can either vote on the same thing three times or spread them around. And when you start, there will be a notification sent to everybody who was in this board. So all of your remote participants will be notified as soon as this vote begins. When you vote, people can just click on the Post it note they want to vote for. So I'm going. Teoh, put all my votes on this one. Be the most fun Ling Lemonade Stand on the block when everyone has voted, it will notify you. I'm the only one in this board. So it's telling me that I have no votes left and I'm going to end the voting session. It will then show you which which goal has one. There was one here. So this now is the most exciting goal, and I use the word exciting because you really want people to be excited about all of this . Excited about the problem. Excited about the workshop. Feel free to tweet this if you need to, but that's generally what we go with. Once we've picked this winner, then I'll move this over to Step three on again. Time Box All of this. So Step three and now is is where you start to move into the problem space, and we always start with the goal because it's hard to come up with problems in a vacuum. But you want problems that are related to a specific goal. So now instruct all your participants to list the problems or challenges your team is facing related to the goal. Go for quantity, No solutions. I give five minutes for this on, and usually again, this board will fill up quickly, so I'll start the timer and then some of the things that may be related to this goal of being the most fun eliminate stand on the block. There are others on the block, so I encourage people to go for quantity and not think too hard. about thes lemonade. It is not fun. And then I'll give one other. Uh, let's say R Block has a dead. So maybe the traffic only comes from one side, right? You'll see that if you have a large group, you'll this board will fill up quickly. And you may need to go through an affinity mapping round where you organize the sticky notes into similar categories and you'll see that though there will be patterns that start to form once you have done that. And I'm not going to do it here because there's only three to vote for, you will do another round of DOT. Voting on the same thing applies, so you'll start the voting session and give it a name again. I usually give people three votes apiece, and I'm going Teoh Vote for lemonade is not fun. So if that were your winning problem, then what you can do is focus your workshop purely around just the lemonade experience and the level of fun that is associated with it. And I know this is a silly example, but it's just a way to sort of demonstrate this process. So what you would do from there is when you're designing your workshop in when you're doing your pre workshop interviews and researching your participants, you'll have a very broad but somewhat focused area that you can dig into the final step. I don't always get to. It's kind of a bonus list. All of the assumptions you have about this problem now to tie this to business settings, assumptions might be, uh, we don't have enough budget or re sources are locked or things that people assume, and it's just a good way to kind of unpack some of the things that people assume. I don't always get to this. It's kind of a bonus round, but it can be a helpful thing. So this is a quick introduction to the activity that you can run to help identify. Ah, good problem area for your workshop to be focused on 4. Researching The Participants: researching your participants. Now that you've identified a good problem and the participants have contributed to that and help decide what the workshop will be focused on, it's time for you to start preparing. And one of the best ways to prepare is to actually interview the people who will be participating in the workshop. And this, we found to be really helpful to help the team just gain some context around what challenges that team is facing, what it's like to be a part of that team and also just build a little bit of a report with that team, which which can go a long way. So for this exercise, which I'll demonstrate in a moment, you're going to need three rolls defined within your facilitation team. And if you have three people or mawr than that's great, if you don't, then you might have to play a couple of roles. But the ideal situation is to have three individuals playing each of the rolls. The first roll is the role of the interviewer. The job of the interviewer is to ask lots of open ended questions, right? Just get to know the participants a little bit better and understand a little bit more about their jobs. The second role is what we like to call the insights catcher. Uh, this is a person who will be working directly in a mural board, which will have a preloaded empathy map, which I'll demonstrate in a moment. And that person's job is toe. Listen, they're listening, and they're listening. For all the interesting insights that might be useful to know in designing the workshop and then the third role we call the question feeder. The question Theater is somebody who is generally for us sitting on chat. And usually the three roles are all together on a group chat, and this is one area where being remote is actually a great great advantage. The question feeder can feed questions to the interviewer that maybe the interviewer hasn't thought of, and we found this helpful because sometimes as the interviewer, it's it's it's hard to follow. Or maybe there are questions you don't think of, or things that you forget toe to come back to. And the question theater because they're not capturing insights, their only job is to just think of things that might be interesting to revisit. So you'll need those three roles, and in a moment I'll demonstrate what this looks like. Now it's time to capture insights about your participants. So we're back in mural and I have ceded some of this with some sticky notes just to get us going and demonstrate the example. So usually for the interview sessions with participants, we will allocate about 15 minutes each generally don't need much more than that. And usually we will set the expectation with the participants that that's all the time we need from them. I have some instructions underneath here and again. You'll get this template. These insights are for you in the facilitation team, and generally you don't share them with the participation team as your scheduling, these interviews, the insights catcher. Now I'll attempt to play that role here. So the Insights Catcher, as I mentioned, is on this board. And if you have more than one, that is ideal. Eso. If your team is five or six people, that's even better. So what you would do is have a single interviewer, a question feeder on chat, who is potentially feeding questions to the interviewer and then three insights catchers, and you'll see that this board will start to fill up quickly. So if you're familiar with design thinking, you've probably seen an empathy Matt before They generally look like this. They're divided into different segments. What do people who you're interviewing, think and feel? What do they here? What do they say and do? What do they see? There's different versions of this. This is sort of a simple one, and I like to use this during interviews so that we're recording things live. The quadrants don't matter all that much. It's just a way to sort of help you structure your thinking. So I filled this in with a few things. So let's imagine that we were interviewing customers of the lemonade stands or customers of lemonade stands and thes were some of the things we heard. I love the pink lemonade wish I knew when it was open so I could bring friends there. One time they had music playing. It felt really fun. I didn't even realize what it was until I got up close. Sometimes I stopped by on the stand isn't open, and that's really frustrating. The lemonade flavors are pretty boring. Sounding the sales people at the stand really seem to know their stuff, and I'm not always sure when the stand will be open. So generally, after we've conducted 3 to 5 interviews of the participants, this board will look pretty full. So I've just filled it in with a few things. But usually there's almost no space remaining on this board, and after that, we'll go through an exercise where we affinity map these findings and just a tip. This is an activity that you can use on have your participants use when they are conducting user interviews. So this is something you can reuse later on for your workshop that your participants will do so for the affinity mapping around. I will usually allocate about 20 minutes. So when all participant interviews or complete as a team organized the insights into patterns and I always say, Do this silently, it's It's an activity that starts off feeling really confusing, and after some time patterns start to emerge, so generally will just look like this. So there would be many people in this board, and post it notes will be flying over to this empty space where we're going to organize them into patterns to see what patterns start to emerge. Now remember, the problem that we were focusing on was that lemonade is not fun, right? This is one of the things that came out of the problem identification exercise. So first, let's put these things into some pattern. So, you know, love the pink lemonade. One time they had music playing and it felt really fun. So that's an interesting one. The sales people seem to really know their stuff, so it's kind of a positive. I wish I knew when it was open. So, uh, this is similar to Sometimes I stopped by the stand and it's not open, and that's frustrating. I'm not always sure when it will be open. The lemonade flavors sound really boring. I didn't even realize what it was until I got up close. So few different kind of patterns here. One seems to be around, not knowing when it's open and one around the flavors sounding boring. Eso may be an opportunity there, one around a bright spot where music was playing and they had a really good time. So usually you'll start to see lots of different patterns. Some will be pain points and will be positives. Andi. These patterns will start to emerge, so at the end of it you'll see typically five or six patterns, and this is really useful information going in that will help you design your workshops so that you understand some of what to look for, some of what you're probably going to hear from your people and eyes a really useful exercise. I won't go all the way through to the end, but generally, if you were to take this further, each of these patterns would be turned into a persona. And then that persona would ultimately be represented by a problem statement. The last thing usually will do if we're really trying to take this all the way through is vote on which which pattern is the most interesting on potentially turn that into a persona . But this is a really quick activity. You generally don't need a whole lot of time for it, and it's a great way for you to gain a little bit of context. Understand your participants before you go into the design phase 5. Preparing Your Participants: preparing your participants. Now they've identified a good problem you've researched or participants a little bit to understand them a bit more your into the planning phases and one of the things that I really recommend is in advance of the workshop. That the team will go through is a pre workshop activity where you'll get the participants introduced to the idea, and you also get to practice a little bit of what you'll deliver. You're gonna need four things for this phase. The first is schedule on 90 minute meeting with the participants. I recommend 90 minutes. I think it's a good amount of time and enough to cover what you'll need. The second thing is some introductory content that covers user interviewing. And there are lots of user interviewing related courses here that you can look up to gather some information. But it doesn't need to be a lot just a little bit of information to sort of prime them for the third thing, which is, you're going to need an activity. There are a few classic design thinking activities that I think we're really well for this . They generally take 45 minutes to an hour to complete, but they're a great way for the team to practice user interviewing on each other on something that is unrelated to what their workshop will be about. And then the fourth thing that you're going to need is a timeline. And I really encourage you to watch this lesson and the subsequent lesson on timelines together, because this will be the first instance where it's really important for you to build out your timeline and account for all of the minutes in that 90 minute meeting and you'll get a chance to kind of feel what that will be like for the full workshop. So again, a few benefits of this. It gives that it gives the participants a chance to practice user interviewing, which is, ah, core core skill and something that that you'll do a lot of and design thinking. It will also give the participants a chance to just feel what it will be like to do these things remotely, and it will give you and your facilitation team a chance to test what it is you're going to deliver. So in a moment I'll demonstrate what this looks like, and again I'll be leveraging mural as well as some other screen sharing tools 6. Preparing Your Timeline: preparing your timeline. As I mentioned in the previous lesson, you'll need to have a timeline ready for the pre workshop activity for your participants. And having a timeline for that as well as having a timeline for your overall larger, long reform workshop is really, really important. I'm very diligent about keeping time in these sorts of things, and when I'm remote, it's even more important. As I've mentioned before, there are always the temptations amongst the Partition mints to multi task. There's lots of distractions notifications that may pop up on their screens. So it's really on you as the facilitator of this workshop to keep people on track and on task. So in a moment, I'll share with you a very simple template that I've created that helps me schedule really down to the minute on. It also has the added benefit of forcing teams who are participating in these sorts of workshops to make decisions. One of the key things about designed thinking is that you have to make decisions sometimes and then validate those decisions or validate those ideas in order to move forward. And sometimes those decisions are right. Sometimes you learn from them that they're wrong, but it's important to make those decisions, so having specific amounts of time allocated to each step is really important. So in a moment I will share with you that template. This is a timeline that you can use to facilitate the activity. To prepare your workshop participants, you can also use this timeline template to create all of the activities and your full day workshop. I'll demonstrate how you might use this for your pre workshop activity. So the way this timeline works is very, very simple. It has a A field to note your start time in your end time, which is basically just taking inputs from the beginning of the first activity and the end of the last activity. It has columns that will note the duration. So how long things will take, what time they will start what time they will end. What you will cover in each section. The medium meeting. How will participants engage and interact with that portion and the format? So will it be a lecture style where you're introducing a topic? Will the team members pair up and do an activity? Will it be a group share and In some cases, there may be individual tasks. So this works very simply where if you change the duration, it will change all of the time line to reflect a new end. Time on this I find really useful in keeping May and my team on track. So the way that you could use this for the activity to prepare your participants is usually I will start with just a brief check in to make sure everyone is connected and their microphones, air working and cameras are working. Usually that will take about five minutes. Once you know that everybody is on and there's no technical difficulties, I will move into introducing the topic of user interviewing. And again, you can find good content on this here, where you may search for other courses specifically on user interviewing doesn't need a lot of content. I usually do about 10 or 15 minutes, and it's just a way to kind of prime people for three activity that they will do next. So from their of generally introduced the activity and there are many design thinking activities that you can choose from. If there's one that you like, I suggest you go With that, there are activities around redesigning the gift giving experience or redesigning a wallet or redesigning a grocery shopping experience. I will go with the 3rd 1 just as an example and share a worksheet that you can use. So once I have introduced the activity, then I will pair everybody up with a partner. It's really important that you decide on the pairings in advance so that you avoid any kind of confusion at this stage. So I generally will share the partner pairings on screen through a screen share, and after that I will have them pair up, either in a virtual break out room. If you're using something like Zoom or some versions of the Web, X will have this kind of break out room functionality. I've also done it more simply where team members have just called each other on the phone. Either one can work well. My rule of thumb is due. Whatever prevents you from losing time and having to do any sort of technical support. So whatever you choose, the first round is one where the participants will interview each other five minutes each about a past experience. Then I usually bring everybody back together into the main screen sharing area, where it's just a quick check in to make sure everybody is on track and there are no questions from there. Send everybody back to either their virtual breakout rooms or phone calls, and they will interview each other again to dig deeper. And this is really again to just practice design thinking and that the important skill within design thinking of interviewing users, I again we'll bring everybody back for a quick check in to make sure things were going well and then move the team into an individual activity where they distill what it is they've heard in those two rounds of interviewing. This will take about seven minutes, but feel free to adjust the timing a little bit. If you if you think certain sections need more or less again, I bring everybody back for a check in, and then they move into sketching ideas. So in this portion again, they're working individually, and I usually just have people do this with pencil and paper. It's the simplest way. It's the fastest way, and it's ah, it's a good skill to practice so there, sketching ideas that might meet the needs of the user that they interviewed again. Bring back the entire group to do a quick check in and make sure they're all with you. And the last activity is one where they share their ideas with their partner. I've experimented with different ways of doing this. Sometimes I have them do it silently. Sometimes I allow for a little bit of discussion. Either way, the idea is to get feedback from users on an idea in a very early prototype, which is represented in the form of a sketch. Logistically, the way to do these, you can either have teams tech, take a picture and text the the sketches to their partner and then take turns interacting. Or use a screen sharing tool or hold it up on camera again. Practice this in advance to just make sure you're not doing any sort of tech support during this segment. Do the thing that is the simplest. Once they're done, it's a quick debrief and clothes, and that should be about 90 minutes worth of activity. Um, I've left a five minute buffer here, and this is a timeline you can use and adjust for your needs to help prepare your workshop participants. This is a worksheet. You compare with the timeline that I just demonstrated to help facilitate the pre workshop activity to help prepare your participants. Step one is shown here, and that is the round of interviewing that your participants will practice so they get to practice interviewing and gaining empathy. It takes about 20 minutes in total. That includes the first round of interviewing, where each partner will have five minutes to interview the other. Then there's a bit of a check in and the second round of interview interviewing, where they have four minutes to interview each other, and then they will move on to distilling their findings. So just trying to summarize and synthesize what it is they heard in those two rounds of interviewing what is their user trying to do, what's motivating them and synthesizing all of that down into a problem statement. After that, they can move into this worksheet where they can sketch six fantastic ways to meet their users. Needs typically allocate around 10 minutes for this, but you can kind of feel it out and see what works for your group. And then the last page in the worksheet is one to just facilitate the sharing of the ideas . And as I mentioned oftentimes, participants will either take photos of this or share it through a video screen. I tend to either distribute these worksheets in advance to all of the participants if I feel confident that they'll be able to print them out. If not, I may just share these in a slide that they can view and then instruct them to take notes on scrap paper or whatever they have handy. So this is a worksheet you can pair with the timeline to help facilitate your pre workshop activity to prepare your participants. 7. Final Run Through: it's time for the final run through. You've done the preparation. Your team is almost ready. You have a problem. You've researched the participants. You've prepared them a little bit. You have a timeline. Now it's time to run through the whole thing to make sure it will go smoothly. In this. You have really three goals and three activities to complete. 1st 1 is gather your facilitation team together for generally will schedule about 30 minutes to an hour because we don't need to do all of the activities. We just need to make sure you're prepared for each segment of the day and follow your timeline step by step. Make sure that every activity you have listed in your timeline is mapped to something that the participants will experience. That maybe an activity that may be a slide they need to review. Just go through and test all of that out to make sure that it it aligns. The second thing is test all of the software, all of the tools that you plan to use and test them in different scenarios. If you're using screen sharing tools, make sure that everyone can access them. Make sure they're that you won't run into any firewall issues or any sort of accessibility issues. So run through all of that. Test your collaboration tools, make sure that that everyone will be able to access them. Make sure there aren't any kind of limitations on whatever kind of laptops or software they may be working with. And finally, I'll go through in a moment a very, very simple activity that I like to do and facilitation teams always seem to benefit from where you unpack all of your concerns, going into a workshop like this. Usually, the facilitation team members have concerns, and often times maybe they haven't voiced them. This is the time to get all of that information out there. So in a moment I'll go through a very, very quick activity that will pay huge, huge dividends for you and your team. For this demonstration, I'm going to show an existing output of recent activity that I did with my team toe help them unpack their concerns as a facilitator in advance of a workshop we were delivering. I thought it would be helpful to see the finished product, just to understand a bit about how this might go. So the purpose of this again is to everyone who's facilitating. A workshop will have some concerns, especially if it's something that's relatively new. And they may not always voice those I know. I don't always voice my own. This activity encourages the facilitation team to do just that. So the way we will typically run this is very straightforward. So I haven't open box here that can contain all of the different ideas, and stickies and I will start the timer at five minutes and encourage the team who is doing this all remotely as I am to unpack all of the things that they're concerned about and what you see in the colored stickies are actually some concerns that the team raised in a recent pre workshop activity. So you can see certain things like we will have a massive snowstorm or I will get sick before the workshop. You can see some other things around, you know, dealing with naysayers or detractors which are really, really concerns people, participants getting pulled away or being disengaged or multi tasking or technical issues having connectivity issues or anything like that. So what we did is we first spent five minutes unpacking all of these, and then we started to apply categories to him. So what you see in the black stickies are the categories that we started to ascribe to each of these groups. So scheduling concerns, anxieties, staying engaged and once and then we While we were doing that, we organized them into patterns. So we did a bit of an affinity mapping exercise, and we were left with about seven or eight different patterns that we we were concerned about as a group, and this was really, really helpful to do. The next step was all right. Now that we've grouped our concerns, let's brainstorm and vote on possible solutions to those concerns. So not just unpacking those concerns, but also thinking of strategies we might use to actually deal with. Um, so one of the concerns was I will get sick and not be available. And even though it seems silly, we said, Well, a strategy to deal with that is to get enough sleep to eat oranges, to exercise things like that, dealing with naysayers. So some strategies to do that we have the idea of creating a virtual parking lot, So if there were an idea that maybe there was not going to be sufficient time to cover, to add it to that parking lot. Also, always making them feel heard and not engaging in debates. So just things to keep in mind to help the team get the most they possibly can out of this workshop. So for that portion, we allocate 10 minutes, but I think end to end. You probably don't need mawr than 20 minutes to do this activity. And I I really believe that it will help the team feel confident and ready to deliver your workshop. 8. What To Look Out For: what to look out for during your remote design thinking workshop. Now, most design thinking workshops, whether in person or remote, will have some similar components. They'll probably begin with some user research rounds that will probably consist of user interviews. And the good news is that your participants will already have practiced conducting user interviews on each other through one of the pre workshop activities, so they'll be able to reference that experience for your day of workshop. Second thing that is often included is a round of narrowing down on problems that you may have heard in those user interviews. And oftentimes that will be through affinity mapping exercises, empathy, mapping exercises, turning those patterns that you identify into personas, representing those personas through problems statements so that you can really have a focal point for the team to move onto the next phase. The good news for you as a facilitation team is that the round of participant interviews that activity where you empathy mapped those findings and then affinity mapped what you learned to identify patterns. You can re use that for your workshop, and it's a great activity that will allow the team Teoh identify key patterns key insights that they may be able to focus on going forward. Typically, another step will involve ideation. So once you've identified a good problem, you'll move on to some ideation rounds, and an activity that you can repurpose that was covered in a previous lesson is the identification of a good problem activity. And here is a great way Teoh generate lots of ideas, vote on really interesting ones and then narrow down and pick a focal point. Eso This one, I think, is actually one where you benefit from being remote because you generate a lot more ideas. I find when teams of remote because oftentimes they're anonymous and there were fewer kind of social pressures between the teams to think of good ideas are or think of the right idea . It's it's quantity over quality. At this point, the next phase after you've kind of narrowed down on an idea that the team will focus on will be to prototype Now. This portion is going to be really different when working remotely. Oftentimes in an in person design thinking workshop. Ah prototyping session will involve pipe cleaners and duct tape and sticky notes, and Plato and all sorts of fun tools which you can use, Uh, although user testing those things in a remote setting is a lot more challenging. So typically, a prototyping round will be a little bit mawr skewed towards sketching. Teams can kind of work individually, generate lots of ideas and then take pictures of them and share them on kind of pick the really interesting bits out of those on. Then the last thing that typically would exist in a any design thinking workshop would be around of user testing of those prototypes that represent that those ideas now there are lots of great resource is here. User testing dot com is one that we often use where we can schedule a remote user test where the participant on the other side will be on video with us so we can have that 1 to 1 interaction. We typically will share either screenshots or links whatever it is that the team has created to represent that idea, and we've done very low fidelity versions of this so screenshots of hand drawings and ask users to interact with them. This portion will be a little bit different than it would be if you were in person and actually interacting with users, it's also something you probably need to schedule in advance. So just keep that in mind that any sort of remote moderated usability testing often needs to be scheduled in advance. And you don't need to use a service like user testing dot com if you don't have access to it. You can also source participants directly through other means within your company and use a screen sharing tool that will allow you to see what they're doing with the prototype. So those are some of the things that are probably going to be included in your day of workshop. Let's shift gears a little bit to some of the softer things, so keeping the energy up, I can't tell you how important it is when you're in a room with people. It's a lot easier to sense if the energy is lagging and you can either plug in a quick break or get everybody up and stretching. So it's important to build in checks for you as the lead facilitator. And make sure your facilitation team is doing a swell to just make sure people's energy is up. Checking in on people. It's a few ways we tend to do this Number one, which I have to say I use often is I actually will cold call on people. So if, for example, I have a slide up that contains maybe a few lines of information on a topic rather than me reading the words on that slide, I'll ask somebody who is in the participation team to read it, and it's a great way for them to just hear from each other. It also sort of keeps people perked up and ready on, focused on what's going on so cold calling people, I think it's it's totally acceptable and it's a good way to just sort of keep people engaged and focused. Also, we play music all the time. Any time one of us as a facilitator is not talking. If there's, for example, in ideation activity or voting round, we're playing music and we'll just I'll just put my phone right next to the computer speaker. But whatever makes the sound comes through clearly is totally acceptable. Eso we keep the day going, we play music. We try to keep people's energy up next, try to be on camera. So if you can, Oliver of your facilitators should be on camera and try to encourage the participants toe. Also be on camera. It really does make a difference. It's nice to be able to see people, and it also really helps to remove that temptation around multitasking, finally building breaks. So I tend to use a standing desk just because it helps me kind of keep my energy up if you have one. That's great if you don't build in breaks so that people can get up, stretch their legs and get the blood flowing. Because when your remote typically you're in front of a computer and being in front of a computer and focused for an entire day's workshop is challenging. So I recommend that in your timeline you build in very short five minute breaks. I wouldn't go longer than five minutes because I find that once it's a little bit longer than five minutes, it's harder for people to kind of get back into the mode again. So build in those breaks and I think you'll do well 9. Keeping The Momentum: keeping the momentum going. One thing I always like to build into every workshop is a final activity for the participants, where they make a commitment to themselves to apply one thing they've learned in the workshop to their day to day jobs. This could be something really big or something really, really tiny. Either way, it doesn't matter. The way we tend to do this is we have each participant take a moment and send themselves an email. In that email. They will include to hit two pieces of information. One. What is it that they will take away from the workshop? Will it be to conduct one user interview? Will it be Teoh have a an ideation session using a remote tool? Will it be something bigger, something smaller? But one thing they'll do, and the second bit of information is when they will commit to doing it by. I also asked the participants to copy their lead facilitator, which in many cases is me. If it's one of my colleagues, I ask them the participants to copy their facilitator on that, uh, mostly so that the participant can reach out in the future for additional help. This is your choice if you want to make yourself available in the future, we tend to do that because usually people come out of these sorts of workshops with lots of energy and lots of ideas, and it's very easy to just get back into the day to day. So we call that activity, take it home on, and I highly encourage you to have your participants do that as well. 10. Review & Wrap up: Congratulations. If you've made it this far and you've made it through all the lessons that will help you design and deliver your own remote design Thinking workshop, we've gone through many of the things to think about in the lead up preparation phase is what to look out for during an actual workshop and how to keep the momentum going. I hope this has been helpful to you. I encourage all of you to post your projects here on skill share. And if you have questions or feedback, I would love to hear from you. My name is Joel Alley. You can follow me here on skill share or on LinkedIn. And I wish all of you the best of luck. Thank you.