Research Findings Workshop
In October of 2020, I attended a Nielsen Norman Group course on Facilitating UX Workshops. I presented an overview of the course to my team at Moz, and one of my team members asked if I could walk her through how to facilitate a cross-functional workshop for her current project.
As her direct manager, I acted as her mentor and guide as she put together the project plan. She scheduled all of the meetings (brainstorming, check-ins, and the workshop itself), and brought proposals to the table. I made suggestions, and sent her links to articles and resources for facilitating the types of workshops we selected. I also attended the workshop as a participant and stepped in to help smooth the workshop experience when she was stuck.
The workshop goal was to help the project team digest and discuss research findings as a cross-functional group, and use the workshop activities to align, prioritize and act on research findings. To accomplish this, we used three exercises for the workshop: Forced Ranking; Effort/Impact Matrix; and Landscape Mapping.
This was facilitated 100% remote, using Miro. Our workshop participants were physically located in Seattle (USA), Denver (USA), and Vancouver (CAN). Our team is 100% remote because of the pandemic. Our attendees included representatives from product management, UX, marketing, and engineering.
First, my team member pulled out the key insights from our research. Our workshop participants then voted on each of those insights using dot voting. After voting, we all discussed why we voted how we did, and some of us moved our dots around. We gave the Product Owner an extra vote to break any ties. In that discussion, we realized that some of the user insights were already planned for MVP, and some of them needed further research; we set those aside so we didn't include them in the next activity.
The next activity was creating an Effort/Impact Matrix. We plotted the remaining insights into 4 buckets (high/low impact; high/low effort.) We randomly assigned the insights to participants, and then we all talked through them to assess which bucket they belonged in the matrix. In that process, we also discovered that there were some additional stickies that were either already planned, or where we needed more research.
Next, we did a landscape mapping exercise. We created swimlanes for "solve for alpha" "solve for beta" and "solve for later." We chatted through where they belonged in our project plan.
We wrapped up with a brief retrospective, where we created stickies in three categories "was helpful/added value," "not so helpful," and "ideas." We discussed the feedback, and created a plan for how to move forward with more of these workshops on similar projects.
It was a very well-received exercise, and provided clarity and direction. Product, engineering, and marketing all asked for this to be included in the plan as part of future product planing. The engineer said that he wished this had been done on one of his past projects because it could have helped them make better decisions faster on the product direction. UX will be including a workshop for prioritizing research findings in our future projects. It may not be this exact process, but this gives us a direction for starting.