Case study

How to engage 50 people from different time zones for a strategic 3-day workshop


Shared by 
Milton Neto
IT Architect at Embraer Brazil

Milton Neto is an IT Architect, working at the multinational aerospace manufacturer Embraer in Brazil. To define their data strategy with multiple stakeholders across the globe and in different time zones, his team managed to set up an efficient and participative workshop, engaging 50 people for 3 days both in synchronous and asynchronous ways.

The challenge: collaborate efficiently through several time zones

While Milton's team was already aware of the power of effective teamwork through collaborative tools, they were using different tools for each specific purpose. For example, they had one tool dedicated to making surveys, another one for voting or for using as a digital whiteboard,... 

So, when the pandemic hit in 2020, they needed to centralize all of these possibilities into one single space, to be even more efficient while working remotely as a team. They started to search for an all-in-one platform that would allow them to collaborate wherever they are, and even receive some input from the Embraer teams working in the US, Portugal or Singapore. 

And that is how they started working with Klaxoon on a daily basis, and for several key workshops such as developing Embraer’s data strategy.

The solution: set up visual and participative working spaces to engage everyone, no matter their location

As an example of how Milton’s team felt empowered by Klaxoon’s tools, in particular during a strategic data workshop, they have succeeded in gathering 50 people from different Embraer teams during 3 days, all working both synchronously and asynchronously.

Milton highlights: “If we had done the workshop in person, like we usually did, it would’ve taken us more than a week. I’m also sure that we wouldn’t have 50 people during 3 days.”

Preparing the data strategy workshop asynchronously

During the preparation of the workshop, Milton and two members of his team work asynchronously to prepare a visual and democratic environment for the workshop. 

First, they create a Network - a private group in Klaxoon - dedicated to data strategy. They invite to this Network all the data engineers and IT representatives who can bring some added value to the discussion (even from the other side of the world). And as data strategy includes several key topics, they create a Board for each environment of data they need to work on.

It only takes us 3 hours for me and 2 people from my team to prepare the workshop. Then, the workshop lasts 3 days and gathers 50 people from different teams.
On a desktop screen, a data Network is open on Klaxoon, displaying several Boards corresponding to each data environment to discuss during the workshop. | Klaxoon
Every member of the Network has an overview of all the data environments to discuss during the workshop.

And to make the workshop even more dynamic and interactive, Milton ends up adding a few Quizzes and Surveys, which can also be completed any time by the participants.

Facilitating a participative workshop from different time zones

When it’s time to start, people who are available in sync meet on Microsoft Teams and on a Klaxoon Board in the Network (it is also possible to join the Board directly thanks to the embedded Live feature). They make a short kick-off by explaining the overall dynamic of the workshop. As Microsoft Teams and Klaxoon and interoperable, it is very easy to open a Board directly from Microsoft Teams interface, and keep it by hand all along the workshop. 

People located in other countries can join remotely if their time zone allows them to. If not, they will still be able to find all the information on the Board later, and interact asynchronously as well.

An ideation session to collect data needs

The first part of the workshop is focused on ideating together, so that the participants can reference all the needs for data, and report on what already exists. 

After agreeing on which data is already available, they share in each Board environment what additional information and data need to appear. Milton and his team go step by step, using the Klaxoon timer to set a time limit for each phase. This way, the team improves their efficiency as there are fewer chances to go off-topic. And at the end of each phase, as Milton states, “when the timer rings, we take the time to understand everyone’s ideas.”

On a desktop screen, a timer is displayed on Klaxoon's Board to remind the team the time left for the ideation part. | Klaxoon
It’s time to discuss the ideas shared by the team!

A participative prioritization phase

Then, the last stage is to select and prioritize the ideas, regarding the urgency of the needs and the data that is already available. To do this, Milton and his team paste the ideas into the corresponding environment as they go. Just like previously, this step leaves some time for the people working asynchronously from the US, Portugal or Singapore to complete the Boards with their ideas, feedback and suggestions.

When we start a meeting here in Brazil, Singaporeans get a chance to interact, read the Boards, read the ideas.

If the participants hesitate between two or more ideas, as a facilitator Milton creates a voting Question, and everyone selects the option(s) that they think are best. The answers being consolidated instantly, the group can see the results in real time and adapt their thinking accordingly. This allows the team to make decisions faster and more efficiently, with everyone making their voice heard.

On Klaxoon, a voting Question is launched by the facilitator to collect the team’s feedback. | Klaxoon
In just one click, it’s easy to share your feedback or opinion through a voting Question.

Finally, in 3 days the international team is able to organize all the shared ideas, and create a relevant timeline from A to Z for the implementation of the data strategy.

The results: 100 labor days saved, and all teams feeling involved in decision-making

According to Milton, Klaxoon allowed their team at Embraer to “gather more people in less time”. As it took them only 3 days instead of a whole week to run the data workshop, it represents 100 days of workforce saved for the 50 participants! 

What’s more, it didn’t necessarily take 3 complete days for each of them to contribute to the workshop. They could join any time, asynchronously across several time zones, to share their ideas with the rest of the team, and work on other projects the rest of the time. This flexibility comes from information always remaining available on Board, and accessible from any connected device.

Milton Neto: "Klaxoon is a complete environment, a complete group of tools to create a real experience to work collectively." | Klaxoon

The data strategy workshop was also an opportunity for Milton and his team in Brazil to work with other Embraer teams located in many different countries. Before that time, they had never worked together like this, and Klaxoon’s Workshop Platform helped them remove all time and space barriers.

“It gives the possibility to share and make things look good”, Milton added. More than saving paper and allowing everyone to participate from anywhere and any time, Klaxoon makes information visual, attractive and easy to retain. And if Milton and his team need to organize a similar workshop in the future, all they would have to do is duplicating the existing content and removing the ideas from the first session.

Finally, thanks to Klaxoon, Milton’s team can now efficiently work asynchronously, from several sites and time zones. No idea is ever left aside, and the teams have changed the way they work to foster collaboration and collective intelligence from anywhere.

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