Action Planning

Purpose: This is an opportunity to give teams a structure for their next steps. It asks them to clarify their next steps, as well as who will be taking each action on, and by when. It provides both them and us with some accountability.

Materials: An Action Planning template, markers

Time: 60 minutes

Step one: Introduce the Action Planning Template. The Template can be specifically designed for different workshops, but as a general rule should contain:

  • A Timeline question, with Who? What? And By When? Sections

  • A section where they determine what parts of their prototype they want to test (try to discourage when teams say that they will test the whole concept - this is not manageable, instead have them segment their prototype and identify the ‘low-hanging fruit’, and have them start the testing and feedback iteration cycle there)

  • A section where they can determine the quickest, cheapest, more generative way to test the part of their prototype they have decided to test

  • A section where they determine who they will test their prototype on

  • A section where they can outline the questions they still have, and the assumptions they are holding

Step two: Give teams ~40 minutes to work on and fill out the template. Be sure to have facilitator’s available to work with teams as this activity comes at the end of a week/day and participants will often take it lightly. Participants may need to be pushed to segment their prototype into manageable chunks for testing, and to identify the right user segment. This is an activity that often feels comfortable for participants as it appears to be ‘business as usual’, and can be a place where they will fall into old patterns, so they need to be pushed to stick with an innovation mindset.

Step three: Have participants transfer their Action Plan into the platform that works for them: Asana, Slack, a Google doc, etc. Invite teams to have a discussion about how they will communicate post-workshop and how they want to hold each other accountable. If appropriate, have facilitators in coaching positions be made aware of these arrangements so that they can be kept in the loop as well.