Phone

+48 884 880 380

AddressPL

Gliwice, 44-100

ul. Błogosławionego Czesława 13

AddressUK

Kemp House London, EC1V 2NX

152 - 160 City Road

Phone

+48 884 880 380

AddressPL

Gliwice, 44-100

ul. Błogosławionego Czesława 13

AddressUK

Kemp House London, EC1V 2NX

152 - 160 City Road

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_A quick definition_How to plan a project workshop_What’s in it for you?_The way we work_The preparation stage_What’s included in the Product Book?_Research fields _The process for special tasks_How we work_Tips for running a remote workshop_In conclusion
Ela Nowicka

What’s a project workshop and what are its benefits?

Designing a digital product is a complicated process that requires a lot of time and attention. There’s a team of specialists, client with an idea, business goal, market demand and many more. Thus, the better we use the time for research and understanding the concept in the primary stages of the project, the better is the finished product.

How to run a project workshop? Is there a template for it? Let’s see.

A quick definition

The project workshop is a meeting that helps in better understanding the client’s idea and business. It’s the critical part of the project. Without it, we don’t know its scale, problems we’re facing and more importantly, its target users and their needs. Because of a project workshop, the team has the opportunity to get to know the client and vice versa. It’s the beginning of the cooperation that sets the ground for the consecutive stages and builds trust between both sides.

How to plan a project workshop

You can ask, is there a one-size-fits-all plan for a project workshop? The answer is no. There’s not. Or at least, shouldn’t be. Every client needs to be treated individually as each project is different and unique. Of course, there can be a template for a workshop, but we shouldn’t blindly follow it. The right team with good company culture keeps an open mind and adjusts to the project and the client’s needs.

Moreover, as there’s no one unique workshop, there’s also no defined number of project workshops. It all depends on the scale of the project and predicted problems or opportunities. However, there’s always a project workshop in one form or another.

What’s in it for you?

Why running a project workshop? Let me tell you a little bit about the benefits. I think you’ll see it yourself that it’s worth investing in this process.

1. Defined scope of work

During our workshops, we talk with the client about the product, discuss functionalities and decide which are more or less relevant. Together we also determine goals that need to be achieved. It gives us a defined scope of the project, which helps us establish the priorities.

2. A better understanding of the needs of both client and end-user 

Sometimes clients come to us with a well thought out project, while other times they have an idea of the final product. One way or another, during workshops, we revise previous assumptions together. Do they correspond to customer needs? What’s the demand for the product?

3. Comprehensive analysis 

In the course of workshops, we perform technical, business and creative research. We come up with new solutions and functionalities. What’s more, we do market research and competition analysis by checking similar apps and solutions. All of this to make sure that the product will meet the target user’s needs.

4. Cost-effectiveness

Workshops aim not only to understand the business and idea better but also to adjust services to the client’s budget. From the very beginning, we aim to develop a product with features that fit the budget. By scanning functionalities that aren’t crucial in the application, we reduce the overall cost and make the offer more budget-friendly.

5. All information is sorted out

It’s equally essential for both team and client. Since there’s an order of information and it’s all in the same place, we can easily find what we were looking for. Moreover, we can come back to it at any time.

6. A reveal of missing opportunities, strengths and weaknesses

All the methods aim to prevent previous errors, as, during workshops, we find missing points and plan research. For example, sometimes, primarily idea turns out to be costly, so we identify the problem and find an alternative.

7. A core of a project

Thanks to workshops, the client with a team can get to the foundation of the project and verify whether the initial assumptions are valid and worth pursuing. It helps them in focusing on the goal of the product and makes sure that everything they do is as intended. 

8. Additional value -> getting to know the team

In other words, teamwork. Throughout workshops, the client works on the project together with the team. There are open communication and transparency in the group which builds trust and better relations. This, in turn, makes the cooperation a lot easier and is a foundation for long-term collaboration.

The way we work

Let’s start from the beginning. Our workshops are designed specifically for a particular client. Before the first workshop starts, there’s a talk with our strategic partnership manager about the client’s idea. Once you established that you, as a client, want to do a workshop, we organize an intro call. We give you a Product Map to fill in, and you meet other people from the team. What’s the Product Map? It’s an interactive document containing questions about the idea, your business needs, goals and expectations.

The preparation stage

Based on an intro call and a Product Map, we can determine your business goal. We know the basics, and we’re drawing up some further questions and matters to go through. It also allows us to do initial mapping of the fundamental need and the scope of the project. Moreover, we prepare our workshop so that it fits that core need. However, bear in mind, that it also varies from the client’s budget.

What do you get from the process? During the workshop, our team prepares wireframe, user story, a roadmap and an estimate. Next, there’s an app development based on the research result and the creative workshop to create the final flow.

Therefore, after the initial workshop, you are provided with a Product Book which is a document containing information about the project with the proposed approach and offer. Later on, you get the analysis, reports on progress etc.

What’s included in the Product Book?

  • Project Story – it’s one of the critical outputs of the workshop. It’s based on four vital questions that we have to answer:

– What are we building? 

– Why are we doing it? 

– Who’s the target group?

– How are we going to achieve the goal?

These questions provide us with a foundation on which we can start building the product. Moreover, we can continually circle back to them to make sure that the solutions that we created are satisfactory and match our goal.

  • User Stories – it is mainly about what’s the purpose of the application, explains what’s the aim of the application.
  • An image of your potential customer – it is defined as a “persona”. During the workshop, the team along with the client tries to answer questions such as “Who would want to use the app?” or “What’s the biggest challenge they face and what can we do to help them?”.
  • Flowchart – presents how the process works. For example, it can show how the navigation works or how the user can move around the application.
  • Technical issues – describes issues related to used technology.
  • Information about team members – full presentation of the team and their skills.
  • Assessment of a project – estimated application prototype cost.

Research fields 

As I mentioned before, during the workshops, we perform technical, business and creative research. In the process, we want to gather as much information as we possibly can. Thus, we don’t limit ourselves just to general questions. The more detailed questions concerning the project, the better. It applies to all the research areas as we want to get a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of the product.

For example, in the business field, we vary from subjects such as “Who is our target market?” to “How our competitors are doing” or “What are the main features the market is searching for?”. In the technical part, among other issues, we try to determine what devices the users are using, while in the creative one, we focus on intuitiveness and functionality of the app that depends on the target market.

After the research, we’re aware of potential risks and problems that arise from the idea from business and target users perspective. Apart from that, we also know the core value of the product, which helps us in defining the chance of success. For instance: “What can help in the positive reception of the application?” By validating the idea through tests and PoC, we make sure that product-to-market fit will be achieved. This, in turn, will contribute to the overall success of the client’s company.

The process for special tasks

Sometimes, as a part of the workshop, we may suggest the Design Sprint. Especially when the idea is innovative, and we want to see whether it’s going to meet users needs. Design Sprint is a time-constrained and a highly creative way of validating the concept. It aims to reduce the risk of bringing a new solution to the market. Whether it’s a feature, service or a product, it helps us to set the goals and check if the initial assumptions are accurate. It also allows us to check and do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Below you can find a template of exemplary Design Sprint that we’ve prepared for one of our clients. 

As you can see, even during the Design Sprint, our team wants to be in consistent contact with you, as a business partner. All of that to make sure that the solutions correspond with your requirements.

How we work

Our development team uses Scrum, which allows us to share and discuss the finished versions of the product regularly. One of the many great things about Scrum is that it works well with almost any kind of project. It involves open and regular communication within the team and with the client.

When it comes to software development, this approach is very flexible – we can modify it many times. The same goes for the budget. Thanks to this approach, the whole team feels responsible for the project. Moreover, the client has full and constant insight into the process of software development.

Tips for running a remote workshop

Although we prefer interacting with our business partners by meeting with them in the office, we adapt to current circumstances. In other words, if there’s a need, we can switch to remote workshops. And we’re pretty good at it. Here are the tools that we use to make it work.

  • Mentimeter – we use it during workshops for interactive presentations.
  • Whimsical and/or Miro – tool for all of us to create flows and new ideas, analyze stakeholders and vote on solutions.
  • Slack – for the whole team and the client to discuss things daily. It’s a place to chat, address questions, share plans and ideas.
  • Slack calls and Google Hangouts – for discussing Sprint progress and priorities for the next week.
  • Zoho Sprints – thanks to this tool, we can plan and self-organize our work.
  • AdobeXD – we use it to share and discuss the wireframes of the project as well as its design. It allows us to share screen views and add comments.

What’s great is that sometimes after our workshop, the client likes some of the tools so much that they implement them in their company. It shows how helpful and useful they are. Thanks to them, we can plan, design, chat and make presentations from anywhere in the world.

In conclusion

Project workshop is a great way to start the digital product development. It’ll help to deliver the best solution and avoid unnecessary costs. What’s more, you get a product that has a chance to do well on the market, which in turn influences the overall company’s success.

At Gorrion, we want to use all of our design and branding experience along with regular personal contact to make sure that you’ll get the solution that meets your needs. Through our workshops and the delivered materials, we can make it happen. All of it helps us to create a beautiful product that provides excellent customer experience. Also, workshops are great for building trust. They provide a groundwork for a long-lasting collaboration.

Have an idea? Book a meeting with Lukasz or send us a message. We’ll be happy to talk to you.

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