Workshop storyboard

Download the tool and design your meetings and workshops so that you achieve the desired impact. The workshop storyboard helps you facilitate meetings and workshops with passion and commitment. As a project manager, it is typically steering committee meetings, sprint meetings, idea generation meetings, focus group interviews, planning workshops, team building activities, workshops with stakeholders and project group meetings you guide and facilitate. Your task as a facilitator is to create motivation, commitment and learning with the meeting participants.

Full description

Purpose and yield

The purpose of the workshop storyboard is:

  • to ensure the desired impact of the planned meeting or workshop
  • to make a good connection between the five dimensions, a good staging and facilitation includes
  • that the purpose and results of the workshop are clear
  • that the right people participate and the right environment is created
  • that the process is designed appropriately and supported by the right methods and materials

When is the tool used in the project?

  • The storyboard is used every time a meeting, workshop, hearing, review, etc. is to be prepared.
  • The documentation in the storyboard allows you to collect a stock of meeting types and parts that can be reused.
  • The storyboard describes the staging. Then, the facilitation of the meeting consists in following the storyboard.

Pitfalls and restrictions

  • Use the storyboard to create variation in the meetings. Don’t develop just one standard project team meeting and then repeat it indefinitely.
  • When there are many participants, everyone cannot talk. Therefore, it is a good and effective principle that instructions go directly from the speaker to the relevant person and are then discussed in groups.
  • Some employees don’t favor expressing themselves in large assemblies. Therefore, assign tasks to groups that discuss the topic. Then the group returns to plenary. Everyone has then expressed their opinion in the group without everyone having to hear every person. It gives them a better opportunity to express their views in a smaller forum.
  • Think of variation. A regular 15-minute break every 90 minutes.
  • Use the breaks. The participants can easily gain a lot from them. Use small disturbances which simultaneously challenges the brain. For example a riddle, a joke, five minutes of gymnastics and a refreshment.
  • Consider whether you are the right person to facilitate the meeting.
  • You cannot simultaneously be a facilitator and participate in the discussions. Either you participate or you facilitate.

Who should participate?

The workshop storyboard is prepared by the project manager or the person who is to facilitate the meeting – perhaps in collaboration with those who need to complete the meeting or workshop, for example. table chairman if there are several groups (cafe tables).

How to do!

The workshop storyboard consists of two templates.

  • Template 1 describes in the top line which meeting or workshop is involved. Who the participants are and what the desired impact of the meeting is. Below, the storyboard consists of five columns describing: The time for the particular program item and the selected process. Then the room and the desired environment are described. Finally, the methods and materials to be used for that point are described as well as who is responsible for the point.
  • Template 2 contains only the five columns and can be used as a second page to template 1, if it’s a very detailed storyboard.

The following is described in the storyboard:

  • Desired impact: That can be acceptance of proposals, agreement on solution, developing proposals, knowledge of problem, change of attitude, updated plan, acceptance of changed behavior etc.
  • Participants can e.g. be a homogeneous group, interdisciplinary group, cross-organizational group or employees from different organizational levels.
  • Time of that specific part of the meeting. Create variation and divide the meeting into blocks of 20 minutes. There must be a 15-minute break every 90 minutes.
  • Program point and process: The process is the timetable for this program item during the meeting or workshop with time intervals and stops along the way. It describes how the individual sessions proceed and the connection to other parts of the program part. There is also an overall process for the entire meeting or workshop.
  • The room and the environment include all physical elements such as sound, light, temperature and table setting. Emotional elements such as motivation, empathy, persistence, structure, etc. Sociological elements that include working alone, in pairs, as a group and in plenary. Finally, there are physiological elements: meals and snacks, energy intake, need for movement, breaks, time of day.
  • Methods and materials: The methods must ensure involvement. It can e.g. be post-it notes, cardboard cards, boards, flip charts, big screen etc. Creativity techniques such as brainstorming, reverse brainstorming, use of random words, pictures etc. It can also be openers, closers, icebreakers, energizers and other small tasks.
  • Responsible: It is agreed and noted who is responsible for that point in the program.

Staging of the meeting or workshop

Staging includes five dimensions that you must relate to when planning any meeting, workshop or the like. The purpose of the event, the people who participate, the environment where it takes place, the process course and the practical methods you want to use during the process. It is the combination of the five elements that provide the framework for the event and it must be designed in the most appropriate way. It is these five elements the facilitator must have an overview of when the process rolls. Which “buttons” are there to be adjusted? The five elements are illustrated in the staging star.

See the detailed description of the procedure in the PowerPoint tool. The Word tool contains only the templates. The workshop storyboard is a general management tool that can be used regardless of whether you work with projects that are based on IPMA, Prince2, PMI, agile methods such as Scrum or Half Double.


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John Ryding Olsson Founder & author
John Ryding Olsson Founder & author John Ryding Olsson

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