Facilitation Guidelines

Facilitating a workshop can be fun but also mentally challenging.

  • Make sure every participant knows exactly what to expect by the end of the workshop.

  • Introduce each exercise and put it in context with the other exercises. Answer any clarifying questions to avoid ambiguity about the content.

  • Try to incorporate breaks if needed, you can ask the participants how they feel every now and then.

  • Make the workshops entertaining rather than functional

  • Explore more details if you end up having a lot of time left.

  • Make sure everyone is attentive and people don't leave mid-workshop for other calls.

  • Everyone should ideally have their camera on

  • Watch for participation - everyone should contribute approximately the same amount. If someone is unusually quiet, ask them directly.

Here is an article by Andrej about the importance of making workshops enjoyable and entertaining.

If you notice one of the following:

  • The decider is not involved in the workshops (especially HMWs and Storyboard)

  • The client team doesn't follow the process

  • The involvement in general seems subpar (no contributions, votes or sketches)

  • The clients drop out of workshops for other things

Stop the sprint and do not continue until everyone on the client team pays full attention!

You can reach out to the Creative Director for support and to manage the timelines.

End-of-day check-ins

Check how everyone is doing to assess their stress levels. It's important that everyone on the team can be in a focused and attentive state. No distractions and stress at minimal levels. Here is an example script:

I’m going to ask everyone to raise their hand at the same time, with 1-to-5 fingers visible in your camera. This is to provide simultaneous visible feedback quickly and succinctly. Please be honest!

If first time:

Let’s practice. Everyone give me a hand-to-five on how much you like Pineapples on your pizza. 1 being not at all, 5 being a lot. Raise your hands now!

Two questions, first:

  • How are you, emotionally right now?

    • 1 finger == I’m not doing well at all and don’t want to come in tomorrow

    • 2 == “I’m not doing great, but am still emotionally committed to the process

    • 3 and 4 are degrees of emotional energy and buy-in

    • 5 is “I am bursting with energy and I cannot wait for tomorrow.

ASK GROUP TO RAISE THEIR HAND TO ANSWER ABOVE QUESTION IF SOMEONE IS A 1 or 2: Ask if this is something for the group or should we take this offline? Facilitate communication and ensure their concerns are met.

Second question:

  • How well do you feel about the chances of us achieving our goal of, at the end of this sprint, doing [ GOAL OF THE SPRINT]

    • 1 == not at all

    • 5 == utterly, absolutely confident

ASK GROUP TO RAISE THEIR HAND TO ANSWER ABOVE QUESTION, IF SOMEONE IS A 1 OR 2: “I’d love to hear your concerns, and what we can do to make sure those are taken into account. What would you need to see to get you up to a 3?

Changing Facilitator

Ideally, this should be avoided. If circumstances were there is no alternative:

  • Organize a detailed handover call to understand all nuances and details of the project.

  • The new Facilitator should spend at least 2 hours researching the client and the project details implemented so far. After the research:

  • The handover call should be attended by the creative director, previous facilitator and product designer to make sure as much information as possible is handed over.

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