Why Remote Workshops Don't Work!
During the pandemic many agencies have started offering virtual
workshops (e.g. the virtual Design Sprints). The authors of the best
seller "Sprint" book have even posted a "Remote Design
Sprint Guide". It is perfectly understandable that these agencies
are looking for business continuity. These virtual workshops however,
go completely against the key principles which these facilitators had
been preaching and which made the Design Sprint a success in the first
We still stand by the following key ideas of successful innovation
workshops which are lost in a virtual environment:
Having a entire team together in the same room, fully focussed on a
single task. As Simon Sinek said: "Brainstorming sessions or
anything to do with ideas are impossible to do virtually".
Discussions and interruptions in a virtual setup follow a completely
different set of rules. Workshops are often too where new connections,
new relationships are established. This trust building happens before,
after or during breaks and virtually this just doesn't happen the
A strict rule of absolutely no devices to maintain a strong focus (See
"No laptops, phones, or iPads allowed. If you need your device,
leave the room or wait for a break." - p. 41 Design Sprint
book.). Virtual workshops lack the visual, peer pressure to refrain
from quickly read an email, reply to a message, check the news etc.