When, why, and how you will benefit from a Product workshop
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Moye team lives and breathes good design and we want to provide our clients with the best possible quality. Over the years, we realized that for this to happen, we need to get the clients actively involved in the process. For this reason, we’ve created Product workshops that help us collaborate with clients more effectively, help them better define their product, and give them accurate time and cost projections accordingly.
Working on UX and UI for mobile and web, we had some situations where we would get entangled in the web of the client and user requirements, endless lists of unprioritized features, blurry goals, missed target users, and worst of all missed deadlines and exceeded budgets.
So we started detangling, reading, learning, and mapping out the solutions, going through many workshops ourselves. Finally, combining our experience, and a few well-known methodologies, we came up with a solution that proved to give the most effective results, and we’ve never looked back. At the moment we are working on several large-scope projects that started with these workshops and we are happy with the outcome.
Who can benefit from Product workshops?
So far it turned out there are 3 types of clients/projects that got significant benefits from our Product workshops. We are also happy to say that all the clients that went through workshops continued working successfully with our teams even though it was never a prerequisite.
So, who are these workshops for?
• Clients who know what they want to create but do not have a clear idea of how to do it and what should be involved in the project:
“I want to create an educational platform where children can watch videos, complete exercises, and their parents can track progress. It needs to be fun for kids and simple to use for parents.” (clear focus on the main goal; features not defined)
• Clients who managed to establish a more clear idea of their project, but got stuck with too many ideas and features:
“I want to create an educational platform for children and their parents, where they can watch videos, play mini-games together, win tournaments. Parents can create lessons for their children with powerful video editing tools. And I have so many more ideas.” (no clear focus on main selling point; features well defined; possibly overthinking)
• Clients who are planning for a large-scale project and need estimates of budget and deadlines, prioritization of work, and timelines:
“I need to create an educational platform for schools that has a specific set of rules issued by the schools. The platform will be used by parents, children, school principals, and external advisors. We have defined a flow for each.” (everything defined and specified, but lacks prioritization and the attack plan)
Usually, clients come to us with a vision and a full head of ideas, and if all these ideas are not streamlined and prioritized we are all in for some unpleasant surprises along the way.
Bear in mind that these are not Design Thinking workshops (although we can do those too). We managed to combine several methodologies like Design Thinking and Lean UX with different experiences from our team members. So this is something that we’ve had a lot of experience with and where we’ve managed to find the sweet spot and make it work.
How does a project discovery workshop look like?
As you can see these workshops will help both our clients and our team establish expectations from the project and people involved. This is why it is important that we meet each other and that we all get familiar with the project.
Who should be involved in the workshop?
From your team, those should be the people who are most familiar with the idea and vision of your project, and who will be involved in the execution. Our team provides the facilitator that will guide everyone through the process, our senior UX/UI designers who will be responsible for the project, and a senior developer who will advise on the technical aspect of requirements and features.
You can also let us know if you feel that some people from your team should only be included in some parts of the workshops. However, if the workshops are longer than one session it is important that at least one of your team members who was in the previous session is present.
How long does a workshop last?
Our practice is that the workshops last around 4 hours. It is really hard to keep the teams focused and concentrated for longer than this so our advice is to spread the workshop to more than 1 session if we estimate it takes more than 4-5 hours.
What is the workshop agenda?
Every workshop is different and our facilitator will prepare it depending on the client and project. As we’ve mentioned earlier, clients have different needs depending on the scope of the project or how defined their vision is, so a one-size-fits-all solution does not work here.
What’s the output of the workshop?
After the workshop, we will prepare you a document that will have everything you need to immediately start working on your project. You will have a project roadmap that, depending on what was the objective of the workshop, may contain main goals the product needs to achieve, defined target users, MVP definition, or prioritized features. Just like the workshop is customized to your needs so is the output document. We will define the output list during the process, and once this document is ready it is a valuable input for any design and development team you choose to start the development right away.
Why attend a Product workshop?
Discovery is an essential phase of the product development process. And while for smaller projects, our team can carry it out independently with a simple email exchange or a kick-off meeting, for a more complex project, this can lead to many wasted hours and misunderstandings. The workshop helps both the clients and the team set the right expectations by going deeper into the idea, better understanding the goals, and predicting and defining possible obstacles.
It may seem like this process takes up a lot of time, but that time is an investment that in the long run saves you resources and nerves. Thanks to the established roadmap, we can predict a realistic timeline and our clients can plan their budget and always be aware of the progress.
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Our team is ready to answer any of the questions you might have, so feel free to reach out anytime, and while you’re processing all the information about the workshops you can take a look at the projects that we were lucky to work on so far. We’ll be happy to get the chance to add yours to this list one day.
*Written by Marija Jamandilovski (UX and content writer)