How I debrief workshops

I have tried to create a simple process for debriefing workshops. This is the current process I use, and I think it may be useful for others.

  1. I give everyone sticky notes with three colors
  2. I ask everyone to write “a thing that surprised you about the workshop”, “a thing that you learned today” and “a thing that you plan to do as a result of the workshop”. Each question goes on a different color sticky note.
  3. Everyone puts their sticky notes on a flip chart. As people come up, I read through their notes and pick out some notes that I think were interesting to discuss
  4. When everyone has put up their answers, I read up 1-3 notes about what surprised the participants, 1-3 notes about what they learned and 1-3 notes about what they plan to use it for. I comment on these results.
  5. As I end the workshop, I tell everyone “now, pick up the note with your plan as you leave the room and put it in your pocket. When you find it in the future, ask yourself whether you have completed it, or whether you should put it back into your pocket

"What surprised you", "what have you learned", "what do you plan to do"

I feel this gives a nice closure to the workshop and a drive for people to apply what they’ve learned. Have you been to one of my workshops where I had this debriefing? I’d like to know whether you used the “what do you plan” note. :-)

About Johannes Brodwall

Johannes is Principal Software Engineer in SopraSteria. In his spare time he likes to coach teams and developers on better coding, collaboration, planning and product understanding.
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One Response to How I debrief workshops

  1. Nick says:

    This is great, thank you!

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