Kickoff workshops are one of the most important parts of the Envoc Experience. We decided to ditch stale, boring, presentation-style meetings and replace them with fun, collaborative get-up-out-your-seat activities that pull the team together and launch a project with energy and focus. Get your thinking caps on, people!
It’s that time again -- time for a kickoff meeting for a new project. We all know the feeling you get when attending these meetings. They’re drab, you start to get antsy from sitting around too long, and worst of all, they’re not as effective as they should be. That’s why we ditched the plain-old, tiring meeting and replaced it with a collaborative kickoff workshop.
In our last blog post, we talked about how you can rediscover your business and prepare for kickoff. The kickoff workshop is the first time the client and the project team meet to talk about the new project together. When describing a kickoff workshop, we like to leave out the words "sit-down," "formal" or "meeting" because that’s not how we like to work. Actually, clients or Envoceans are often up at the white board drawing out a concept or brainstorming by writing on the table or windows (yep, those can be written on too).
The reason we use the term "workshop" is because we enjoy working with the client and not for the client. We want the client to be a part of the decision making process and know that their input matters. The client and Envoceans work hand-in-hand, as one team, to visualize the concept of what the customized software or website will look like and how it will function.
How do our workshops work?
Our workshops can last from 2 hours to spanning over a couple of days depending on the size and scope of the project. (Don’t worry… We don’t ask our clients to sleep here.) We first get our clients up to speed on the way we manage projects as well as educate them on why certain decisions need to be made during different stages of the process. These can be decisions ranging from the typical user flow of their app to what kind of content is needed on the about page of their marketing website.
In order to come to these decisions, there are a few exercises we work through together. Some of these exercises include:
- Prioritizing the project’s features based on the client’s needs, time and budget
- Looking at examples of designs, websites and applications to discuss the client’s likes and dislikes
- Sketching out and exploring ideas as the inspiration hits us
- Creating sitemaps to see a visual of how the product could be structured
- Discussing functionality and how a target audience would utilize the end product by discussing different scenarios, or "User Stories."
By the time the workshop has ended, the clients have had their fill of coffee and leave with peace of mind knowing that a lot of the decisions have already been made to set the project in the right direction. They’ll have a great idea of how their product will function and what it will look like to the end user after the workshop. Clients are getting in the swing of things and now Envoceans are ready to get to work!
Building A Better Reality
So what does Envoc have in store for the future of our workshops you ask? We've built out our new space and designed it with our clients and these workshops in mind! We want our clients to be able to walk into the Envoc environment and be inspired to brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas as well as the smaller details. The space is a vitally important part in informing and influencing how we operate as well as fostering the culture of collaboration when our clients walk in the door. We've also been revamping the Envoc Experience in order to make our clients' experience working with us just as great as what they receive at the end.
There’s no reason for people to sit around the entire time dozing off in chairs while someone drones on and on. Instead we need to get up, move around, and work as one team. Your experience shouldn’t be limited to some company telling you what your project should be; you deserve to be involved throughout the entire process right from the very beginning.