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Best workshop exercises we know II
A conversation between Dave Gray and Jose Manuel Redondo Lopera
Dave Gray writes the Gamestorming newsletter, and I write the Facili-station newsletter. We thought you might enjoy reading a conversation between the two of us about our favourite workshop exercises. We will each write three letters, responding to each other’s thoughts.
This is letter number 2.
Before we decided to start this letters, I was writing an article about the 5 foundational and atomic exercises to be found in all workshops, so people need to really master those 5 to run any workshop.
A workshop is an structured and highly organised session where the facilitator guides group of people through a series of predefined 4 phases to arrive at a result that group members create and agree upon that ensures solid outcomes, all the while avoiding the usual pitfalls of teamwork, such as team politics, asymmetrical knowledge, and differences in working styles.
In each of those 4 phases, the participants use different types of exercises and activities.
There are thousands of exercises out there you can use to get the job done, but once you start creating and designing your own workshops, you will realise there is ONLY 5 types of foundational activities are at the core of all of the exercises
Out of those 5, you already mentioned 2 (great minds think alike!) in you last letter (post-up and 2x2 matrices or landscape mapping), so I am going to explain the last 3.
Clustering is also known as “affinity mapping” and is the grouping of information into relational groups based on similarities and themes. Clustering is the perfect exercise to be done right after a “post-up”.
Clustering is helpful because it structures and organizes information in a concise and clear way so the data makes sense easily and clearly, categorizing data into clusters so it easier to discover patterns, and how they might be related.
Dot voting might be the next step after clustering.
Dot voting is a simple tool used to democratically prioritize items from a list of options or make decisions in a group setting. It is an easy, straightforward way to narrow down alternatives and converge to a set of concepts or ideas.
The idea here is to give participants time to consider which items they would like to focus and work on without needing to have a open discussion.
Prioritization is a follow-up activity right after dot voting.
The main goal here is to structure the prioritized item in orden of most to least voted so the team can converge upon an agreed orden of importance and agreed solution.
The next logical step and exercise here would be a 2x2 matrix s or landscape mapping.
Dave and dear reader, I hope this has been helpful to you! I look forward to reading your response.