Working from home has become the new normal. Your team is now online and trying to adapt to this new reality. But how can we effectively collaborate, creatively solve problems and create together remotely?
It can be hard to get common ground, unlock and share ideas with a distributed team. We are more connected than ever, but sometimes getting things done over a remote meeting can feel like rocket science.
We are more connected than ever, but sometimes getting things done over a remote meeting can feel like rocket science.
To accelerate remote collaboration, you’ll need to find the right tools, encourage your team and adapt your process to keep your project moving along as if you never left the office. From carrying out a remote workshop to facilitating remote usability testing sessions with your customers — anything’s possible if following the right processes.
At Marino, we usually run workshops by getting everyone in the same room, a clear objective and no distractions. We would flood the room with colourful post-its, discuss our ideas and agree on next steps together.
Since you can’t get your team in the same room anymore, you’ll need an online whiteboard space to share and discuss ideas. You’ll need not just video conferencing but robust online collaboration software — a great, visual way of running workshops and keep clear documentation of your work.
To achieve effective collaboration or carrying out a successful workshop, getting the right technology is not enough. The first step in planning a remote workshop is to understand your goals and needs. A new set of facilitation skills will also be key to meaningful remote meetings and workshops.
You’ll need to adapt your processes to an online environment, where personal cues and body language are limited and make sure your meeting has a clear objective and follows a process. Proven design processes will be your secret weapon for success.
For example, you might facilitate a Design Sprint — a design thinking workshop that involves defined steps such as brainstorming and discussing ideas, figure out the user journey a customer will follow. We will then create a detailed storyboard and finally convert it into a tangible, testable prototype that we will get feedback from real users.
Collaborating from home can be challenging, for both the facilitator and the attendees. There are plenty of activities and techniques to keep a team on track, maintain focus and move forward in a structured manner
Getting the right exercises, format, and methodology for your team will be key to get the most out of your team’s time.
It happens in real life but it accentuates even more in an online environment: the loudest people might take over the conversation and not always the best ideas will be heard (or even expressed). Some people might feel intimidated and fade into the background while others take over.
Make sure you listen to what everyone has to say and create a safe space where people are encouraged to participate. After all, you will only uncover the most innovative and effective solutions when you give everyone an equal chance to contribute. Best solutions come from our team’s shared knowledge and experience so make sure a diverse group of people feels comfortable to take part.
Well-defined processes will give your team a sense of achievement. Finish off meetings effectively, leave your team with the feeling of a time well spent and progression towards a common goal was made. Provide clear documentation and follow up actions.
There’s a workshop for any challenge you might have, here are some suggestions to get you started:
“To get the right answer, ask the right question”, you probably have heard this more than once. Before moving into the solution space, we need to frame the right problem with the user in mind. We can help you shift the perspective with proven tools and techniques and go beyond the obvious solutions.
How do you make sure that your product offering is matching your customer’s needs? Through a proven methodology, we can help you pinpoint your customers pains and objectives and tailor your value proposition to meet their needs and desires. This understanding will help you uncover your competitive advantages or potential areas of improvement. Look at your product and customers from a renewed lens and increase your offering success by focusing on the right areas.
We will help you go from assumptions to hypothesis, we’ll analyse where you’re at and what is needed to get your project where you want it to be. We will closely look your business goals and personas and pinpoint your knowledge gaps. We will come up with features and link them back to your personas and business goals. This workshop will help your team prioritise next steps and figure out the unknowns and what we need to test.be
What if I told you that you could validate a product idea and get tangible results in just a few days?
“The big idea of the sprint is to take a cross-functional team, clear the schedule and rapidly progress from problem to tested solution.” — Jake Knapp, creator of the Google Ventures Design Sprint
Yes, you can! Design Sprints are a great way to fast-forward into the future while strengthening your team. Imagine, a common mission and a clear deadline plus an online safe space for your team to share their ideas — combined with expert facilitation and a proven process.
Whether you just want guidance, need more hands-on support or want to get started with one of our workshops, we can help your team succeed remotely.
What are you trying to achieve? Let us know so we can see how we can help you! Get in touch.