Process Improvement

How to do an online process workshop

How to do an online process workshop
Søren Pommer
By on 26/05/2020

What do you do when the deadline is set, but no one can meet physically? As with other meetings, you also move the workshop online. Read this for real consulting experiences from working life during the Corona crisis.

Several of Gluu’s customers and consulting partners use Gluu to hold online process workshops in Gluu via Microsoft Teams. I have spoken to Rasmus Steen Malmstrøm from Bülow Management A/S in Horsens, Denmark, about his recent experiences using Gluu online. We’d like to share them here so that more people can expand their online collaboration opportunities.

As with other meetings, it’s about taking control of the following steps:
– invitation and preparation,
– starting the workshop correctly
– engaging participants,
– follow-up,

Preparing an online process workshop

Most people today have tried to meet via Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom. Turning the meeting into a process workshop with Gluu requires few changes. You must decide whether the workshop should be instructor-led or very collaborative.

Here Rasmus recommends that you let participants know that they are expected to have video on during the meeting – and that they can blur or change their backgrounds if they want. (This way you avoid having to tidy up the room before the meeting). The advantage of everyone having video on is that it becomes a bit more like a ‘real’ in-person meeting. At the same time, the facilitator can see if participants are paying attention or if they have gone out into the garden to play with the dog.

It is also worth considering whether the participant’s group is small, or large. For larger groups, it’s helpful to ask attendees to sign in to the meeting room around 15 minutes before the official meeting start. This lets them solve any minor problems with sound and camera so your workshop starts on time.

Does everyone log into Gluu?

Rasmus considers whether his customers see Gluu for the first time in a training session, or if he is doing process work with a team that already knows Gluu. If the customer’s staff are having their first introduction to processes and Gluu, then Rasmus is the only one to log in. He then shares his screen like if they were in a meeting room with a projector. When the customer’s staff already know Gluu, then everyone signs in to Gluu.  This gives them the option to comment directly on the process and activities when each activity is discussed.

Should the workshop be recorded?

Rasmus and I talked about it and we came up with the following recommendation: If you review or draw a new process, then it is not so important to record the workshop. If, on the other hand, your online process workshop is a training, then it is a good idea to record the session.

Afterwards, you can then share it with the group. With Teams this can be done directly from the tool and shared via Microsoft Stream.

Checklist for preparing an online process workshop

  1. Decide on the degree of participation

    Decide on the intended level of participant involvement – and prepare your group beforehand

  2. Inform about the use of video

    Inform everyone that you want to use video so that participants can prepare (also for GDPR reasons).

  3. Ask everyone to log in before the meeting starts

    Everyone should be instructed to log in 15 minutes before – especially for larger groups. This ensures that you can start on time.

  4. Record the training workshop

    Remember to inform the participants – and then share the recording afterwards via Microsoft Stream, YouTube or another service.

  5. Mute all participants if the group is more than 10

    Remember to ‘mute’ the participants’ microphones if the group is more than 10.

Delivering the workshop

When your online process workshop starts, the facilitator typically shares his agenda by sharing his screen and showing a few slides. It’s like any normal online meeting.

When the actual process work needs to start, then Rasmus switches screen sharing to a browser window that has the Gluu platform open and is logged into the customer’s account. Here he is typically logged into the customer’s account and shows the process that is to be reviewed. It can also be a new process that needs to be developed from scratch. Rasmus has discovered unexpected advantages during the workshop:

“This is where I have had a special experience with Gluu. Everyone can see. Participants sit close to the screen and see the process in a fine resolution and can easily see everything. It’s the first a-ha experience we’ve had with this method.”

Comments are constantly collected in the right context in Gluu

An online process workshop typically is done by the facilitator reviewing and drawing, or adjusting. Rasmus regularly take notes in the comments section under the process – or in of the activities in Gluu.. In doing so, the facilitator gathers makes conclusions and action notes in the right context of the process, so that everything is saved with the right activity in the process. This makes a subsequent summary unnecessary – or it can be much shorter.

For more experienced groups who already know Gluu, it is a good idea to let participants take notes by themselves. Then their names are associated with the comments and they can agree, and even disagree, with other comments. This way they become much more engaged than normal. At Gluu we know of several examples where the comment function is used for outright brainstorming. For example, the meeting manager may ask the participants to list all the possible waste that they can think of. They can then assess each other’s contributions and say what they agree or disagree with. In this way, everyone works in parallel in a way that you cannot do when just one person can ‘speak’ at a time.

How to do an online process workshop

After the workshop

The follow-up after the meeting can be either a brief record of actions agreed at the meeting. This is useful if the participants are very busy and the workshop has led to a validated process.

You can also invite the participants to continue by themselves and map processes in smaller groups – using to the same format that the facilitator just demonstrated. This can be useful in a train-the-trainer model, where each process owner is passed the gauntlet and can continue working.

“We try to limit the participants’ follow-up work after the workshop, since we know they typically are very busy. So it’s about getting most of it done at the workshop itself. That’s what makes it a workshop and not a meeting.”

Rasmus Steen Malmstrøm

Read more about running process workshops with in this article in our Help Center

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