Key ingredients for successful outcome focused project workshops
November 9, 2016Tips & Tricks
Why are we here again?
You’ve been invited to a full-day workshop. You know it’s important as you’ll be discussing a big project and lunch is included. You get there and everyone is keen to share their ‘two cents’ – their big ideas, their concerns, the risks, issues and impacts.
- But what do you intend to do with all this input?
- Is everyone clear what kind of input they are meant to provide at this point?
- How do you avoid this just becoming a ‘talk-fest?’
- Why do we all feel overwhelmed?
- What is the specific purpose and intended outcome of the workshop?
Too often we lose sight of our purpose.
Workshops are useful collaboration channels but if planned and managed wisely, they can be incredibly powerful value-creating inputs into your change vision and strategy – a chance to align key people; to extract relevant subject-matter; and to ensure progress to the next stage of your program.
The reality is, most workshops deviate, digress (and often regress) as attendees traverse in divergent directions.
To address this your workshops must have clarity around:
- Intended purpose – what are we trying to achieve by when? Today and long-term.
- Intended outcome and what output that will feed into – how the workshop links to the next stage of the project or change journey.
- Roles and responsibilities – what input is required from each attendee. Before, during and after.
- Facilitation – who is responsible for maintaining the direction and progress of the workshop and ensuring alignment of attendees. You must have a ‘navigationally-focused’ facilitator.
When every ounce of workshop time, energy and input is focused and aligned to a common purpose with process clarity, something magical happens. That overwhelming feeling dissipates. A prosperous future appears certain. A team of people bond and feel inspired and satisfied.
Put simply: you’ll be a big step closer to achieving your vision.