Case study

How to organize a workshop and launch a product in 4 months?


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Portfolio and Project Manager

Launching a new product in just 4 months is ambitious, but not impossible. As we will see with Jean-Christophe, who recently rose to the challenge. How did he do this? Thanks to collective intelligence, teamwork and an effective workshop, all while using Klaxoon tools, and particularly Board.

The challenge: bring together 20 people remotely to solve a problem

Jean-Christophe is Portfolio and Project Manager in the Industrial department in a large French company that manufactures tests for patient diagnostic services in laboratories and hospitals. He leads a team of 10 project managers responsible for developing new products to meet their clients' needs.

In September 2020, the company was in a delicate position. It received negative feedback from its clients: the latest product launched would not be as effective as expected, and several issues would need to be resolved. It was down to Jean-Christophe and his team to solve this problem. And the stakes were high!

  • Jean-Christophe had to find a viable solution, start producing it and bring it to market in just 4 months!
  • He had to bring together and mobilize more than twenty co-workers, and representatives of all the departments involved in the creation of a new product: quality control, regulatory affairs, research, etc.
  • All this had to happen remotely, since the team was working remotely at that time. 

For Jean-Christophe, organizing this workshop with Klaxoon was a no-brainer: as a project manager, he particularly appreciates solutions that focus on collective intelligence.

The solution: mobilizing collective intelligence with Board in 3 steps

For more effective problem-solving and to move forward, Jean-Christophe used Board: a digital whiteboard that can be customized to suit any of your needs. He prepared it in advance so that it was ready on the day of the workshop.

The first challenge was to have more than 20 different people collaborating. On this point, Board really helped me a lot as a mediation tool.

This was organized into 3 steps: a brainstorming exercise, a “Remember the future” type experience, and project monitoring. The goal was to find solutions collectively, while letting everyone have their say!

1. Running a brainstorming exercise with the team

Identifying the project issues and constraints

The first part of the workshop consisted of a brainstorming session with the 20 people present. The aim was to clearly identify the problems and constraints facing the project. In practical terms, Jean-Christophe invited everyone to the Board, using a simple sharing link. The workshop started with a brief overview of the product to be improved, and plans and diagrams were shared directly on the Board. Then, the co-workers added their ideas to identify the constraints and problems that the project was facing. Everyone placed their ideas on a table, so they kept all the information visually organized.

To encourage debate and “divergence for more convergence”, Jean-Christophe encouraged the co-workers to use the Board’s Question feature to ask idea owners to explain their ideas, or simply to express their disagreement. This meant that the brainstorming exercise focused on ideas that were considered to be important to the whole group. Participants were all in agreement about the issues to be addressed and the solutions to be found.

Proposing solutions

Next, it was time to propose solutions to the problems identified: the problem-solving part could begin. Here again, the co-workers used creative thinking to propose solutions: in total, they have identified 6 possible solutions together. At this point, the Board mainly consisted of a table presenting the problems identified in a row, and the solutions found in a column.

As a next step, Jean-Christophe asked the owners of the 6 solutions to fill in the table: a thumbs up if they thought that their solution would solve the problem, a thumbs down otherwise.

The other participants were invited to use the Question feature to provide their feedback on the different ideas. In response, the 6 idea owners could answer directly and explain why they thought their solution was the best. These questions encouraged participants to choose their words carefully. The quality of the debate was greatly improved.

Deciding on the best solution collectively

The final step in this brainstorming exercise was simply for participants to use the “Like” feature to vote for their preferred solution. The idea that got the most likes was the best! As discussions and debates were moving forward, the co-workers agreed on a new solution: solution #1 with improvements from solution #5. As a result, Jean-Christophe managed to motivate the co-workers to find innovative solutions collectively, in just 45 minutes!

Jean-Christophe: "With an appetite for tools that encourage collective intelligence: for me using Klaxoon was a no-brainer!" | Klaxoon

2. Predicting risks to better avoid them with Remember the Future

The second major part of this workshop organized by Jean-Christophe with Klaxoon was for the team to delve into the future, using Remember the Future. This is an agile method whereby they mentally projected themselves to the day of the product launch to better imagine all the steps that separated the team from this key moment. (You can find a ready-to-use “Remember the future” template in our template library to try out this method.)

In the case of Jean-Christophe and his co-workers, it was a matter of projecting themselves 4 months into the future and making a list of all the prerequisites and all the results that had to be delivered to get there.

Still on the same Board, Jean-Christophe displayed two new tables, this time showing one month per column going back to September, the date of the workshop. Half of the co-workers were in charge of predicting what needed to be done to meet the technical challenges, while the other half did the same exercise, this time from an organizational point of view. This step enabled Jean-Christophe and his co-workers to imagine actually implementing the solution dreamed up during the brainstorming phase.

A part of the Board with two tables in which the team's ideas are organized. The first table shows the technical events, and the second table shows the organizational events. | Klaxoon
The team's ideas are once again categorized following the type of event, to organize the results of the brainstorming session.

Conclusion: both groups were more optimistic because they both agreed that the project was feasible!

A team of 6 people in a room and 7 people working remotely with enthusiasm on a Board, with the "Remember the Future" template. | Klaxoon
With the "Remember the Future" phase, the goal is reached by the team: it becomes so much easier to make projections into the product's lifecycle.

At the end of this step, not only were the co-workers all in agreement about what remained to be done, but in addition, Jean-Christophe had a very precise action plan for the weeks to come!

3. Project monitoring on the same Board to be better synchronized

Following on from this workshop, the Klaxoon Board initially used for the remote workshop became a project management tool. Jean-Christophe organized a sync-up meeting on the Board every Monday morning. At that meeting, he set out a weekly schedule of the results to be delivered and, as always, a color code for each department: the aim was to replicate as much as possible what had been established during “Remember the Future” phase.

A four-month-planning on Board, with ideas categorized by color regarding the team which they are related to. | Klaxoon
The different teams can easily visualize the ideas related to their field of expertise in the weekly planning.

To improve this schedule, Jean-Christophe added connectors between tasks, to highlight dependencies: this way, he could determine the prerequisites for completing a task. And, should the need arise to push back delivery of any results, he could work out the consequences of a delay and who would be affected by this.

At every meeting, all the participants in the sync meeting fill the Board with their own ideas and recommendations. If an idea is approved by the other co-workers, it gets a thumbs up, building a roadmap for each week, which contains everyone’s opinions.

The results: the positive impacts of using Board on the team and the project

Thanks to his Klaxoon Board, Jean-Christophe was able to do everything at the same time - brainstorming, organizing the action plan and monitoring it. Which was enough to convince him of the benefits of this tool.

Jean-Christophe: "As soon as the Board was set up, there was trust and mutual support in the team again: this tool really fostered collective intelligence in the group." | Klaxoon
  • In a meeting or for organizing a workshop, the design of the app made information sharing very efficient and fluid. This “visual management” or visual facilitation aspect of the Board was a real advantage when he wanted to get so many people from different departments in the company on the same page.
  • The fact that the co-workers could interact directly with the Board encouraged participation and thus memorization. The co-workers less needed to come back to the decisions being made in meetings and could initiate more change by themselves.
  • It also enabled information, ideas and problems to be escalated more quickly and precisely: the main stakeholders could check the Board by themselves asynchronously, from any device at any time, not just during meetings or workshops.
  • According to Jean-Christophe, all this helped to mobilize collective intelligence, as he also fostered the dialog through “Questions” and “Like” features. This made it possible for everyone to have their say in any aspect of the workshop.

And even from an organizational point of view, Jean-Christophe was delighted:

  • Weekly sync meetings and his workshop had never been more efficient while taking less time.
  • The project manager or leader had a platform with all the information they needed, and this information came directly from the co-workers. It could be constantly updated, not just once a week in a meeting. And all this and it was highly responsive, too.
  • Since the Board was shared by everyone, Jean-Christophe observed more mutual support, group cohesion, and agility: everyone could see exactly what other people were working on, and the Board displayed dependencies between different co-workers’ tasks very simply.

Like Jean-Christophe, give Klaxoon and its Board a go too to optimize your meetings and boost collective intelligence!

You too can adopt Klaxoon!

With Templates, innovate in the management of your projects, represent them visually and move forward as a team in a synchronized manner

Remember the Future template

Remember the Future: find ways to improve your project by travelling in time


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