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Planning design thinking workshops

Donna Spencer
September 29, 2022

Planning design thinking workshops

Want to make your next design thinking workshop great? Join us for this talk on planning design thinking workshops.

Design thinking workshops are a great way for a group to work together to come up with creative solutions. When run well, groups can come up with more than they’d ever imagine possible.

Of course, great workshops don’t just happen. They are the result of careful goal setting, structuring and activity planning. Careful facilition helps everyone feel safe, understand what they are doing and contribute their experience and skill.

In this talk Donna will cover what it takes to plan a great design thinking workshop – from goal setting, structuring and choosing activites. Then she’ll talk about what it takes to manage the room itself – getting people warmed up, making them feel safe, encouraging contribution and making group decisions.

Donna Spencer

September 29, 2022
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Transcript

  1. Planning design
    thinking workshops

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  2. About design thinking workshops

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  3. Today
    Workshop goals (<5m)
    Workshop structure and activities (30m)
    Content, then Q&A
    Facilitating and managing people (15m)
    Content, then Q&A
    Then some final thoughts and answers
    Type questions as you go – I’ll answer them in thematic blocks

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  4. Workshop goals

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  5. Facilitate, don’t participate
    Don’t attempt to facilitate your own workshop

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  6. Questions to ask to determine goals
    What do you want to achieve with this workshop?
    Type: discovery / alignment / design generation
    What do you imagine will happen during the workshop?
    How do you want people to feel during and after the workshop?
    What would you hope people say about the workshop?
    What will happen after the session? How will you use the outcomes?
    How does this workshop fit with other work?

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  7. Is a design thinking workshop right?
    Good for:
    Getting people to work together
    Generating creative ideas for complex problems
    Generating practical, creative ideas for understandable
    topics
    Getting a group to collectively decide on next steps

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  8. Is a design thinking workshop right?
    Bad for:
    Very complex problems
    Problems with hard-to-understand inputs
    Detailed solution design

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  9. Workshop structure and activities

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  10. Warmups
    Match the warmup to the workshop goals
    Make introductions part of the warmup

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  11. Context
    Use an activity to discuss the current situation
    Don’t do boring presentations
    Have people actively learn
    Provide engaging support materials

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  12. Generating ideas
    Coming up with ideas
    Use those to come up with more ideas
    Understand the experience of the group
    Constrain time
    Give examples

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  13. Generating ideas
    Build the skills (particularly sketching) into warmups
    Do a test run
    Provide alternative ways of doing the activity

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  14. Developing and describing ideas
    Tell stories, act out a scenario, make models, go into
    more depth
    Allow plenty of time for this step

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  15. Prioritising and deciding next steps

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  16. Managing people

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  17. Warmups
    Warmups are SCARY
    Don’t ask people do reveal secrets

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  18. Getting everyone involved
    Create a safe place
    Take turns
    Have people think then contribute

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  19. Doing new things
    Introduce new skills slowly
    Start at the warmup
    Do low-risk activities first
    Break the activity down
    Provide an alternative

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  20. Getting unstuck
    Reverse
    Restate
    Try another direction
    Let them wrap up

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  21. Thank you!
    You can find me here…
    maadmob.com.au / @maadonna
    I am writing a book: “Facilitation for design thinking
    workshops”
    You can hire me to facilitate or teach 

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