Hey there! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in running a design thinking workshop to drive digital transformation in your organization. Well, you’re in luck! In this blog post, I will teach you how to run a design thinking workshop. We’ll discuss the outcomes of the workshop, provide a sample agenda, highlight the roles that need to be present, and talk about who typically facilitates these workshops.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a problem-solving approach that focuses on the needs of users or customers. It’s a human-centered approach that encourages collaboration, experimentation, and iteration. The design thinking process consists of five stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. By using design thinking, organizations can create innovative solutions to complex challenges.

What is a design thinking workshop?

A design thinking workshop is a hands-on session that helps organizations understand and address complex challenges. Design thinking is collaborative and involves stakeholders from different departments working together to create innovative solutions. The workshop lasts one to two days and includes activities to deepen understanding, generate ideas, and refine solutions.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into how to run a design thinking workshop.

The outcome of the Workshop

The ultimate goal of the design thinking workshop is to arrive at a roadmap for i.e. digital transformation that is well-prioritized and actionable. But what does that mean?

The outcome of a design thinking workshop should be a comprehensive plan that considers inputs from stakeholders in business, technology, and CX. The roadmap should align with the organization’s vision and provide a clear path to achieve digital transformation

Sample Agenda for a Design Thinking Workshop

Now, let’s talk about the agenda. The following is a sample agenda for a design thinking workshop that can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your organization:

  1. Introduction: The facilitator welcomes participants and provides an overview of the workshop objectives, agenda, and ground rules.
  2. Understanding the Challenge: The group discusses the challenge at hand and defines the problem statement. Participants share their perspectives and insights on the challenges and the impact it has on the organization.
  3. Empathy Mapping: During empathy mapping, participants create maps to understand users’ needs, wants, and pain points.
  4. Ideation: Participants brainstorm potential solutions to the challenge and use techniques such as mind mapping and brainwriting to generate a wide range of ideas.
  5. Prototyping: Participants build rough prototypes of their ideas to test and refine them.
  6. Testing and Feedback: Participants test their prototypes with users or customers and gather feedback to refine their solutions further.
  7. Action Planning: Participants prioritize the most feasible, viable, and desirable solution and develop an action plan for implementation.

Who needs to be attending the Design Thinking Workshops?

Design thinking workshops are most effective when they involve a diverse group of stakeholders from various departments within the organization. Executives, managers, subject matter experts, and employees who play a role in the digital transformation process can all be valuable participants in a design thinking workshop.

The goal is to have representation from different perspectives, including business, operations, technology, and customer experience. When you involve a cross-functional group of people, they ensure that everyone’s ideas and concerns are heard, and they create a well-rounded plan for digital transformation that takes all relevant factors into consideration.

It’s important to note that design thinking workshops can also be valuable for external stakeholders, such as customers or partners. When you involve these groups in the design thinking process, they can provide valuable insights and help ensure that your digital transformation initiatives align with their needs and expectations.

Ultimately, the goal is to have a diverse group of people who can collaborate and bring their unique perspectives to the table to arrive at innovative solutions that will drive your digital transformation forward.

However, these roles need to be present for a successful workshop:

  1. Facilitator: The facilitator leads the workshop, manages the agenda, and ensures that participants stay on track.
  2. Participants: Participants are the key stakeholders who bring their unique perspectives, insights, and expertise to the workshop.
  3. Designer: The designer is responsible for guiding the group through the design thinking process and ensuring that the solutions align with the user’s needs.
  4. Note-taker: The note-taker is responsible for documenting the workshop’s activities, insights, and outcomes.
  5. Observer: The observer is someone who can observe the group’s dynamics and provide feedback to the facilitator on how to improve the workshop’s effectiveness.

Who Typically Facilitates Design Thinking Workshops?

People with experience leading collaborative problem-solving sessions typically facilitate design thinking workshops. This can include UX designers, innovation coaches, service designers, or product managers. The most important factor in running a successful design thinking workshop is having a skilled facilitator.

The facilitator should guide the group through design thinking, ensure everyone’s ideas are heard, and facilitate discussions for feasible, viable, and desirable solutions.


A design thinking workshop using a framework that can drive digital transformation by involving stakeholders and creating a well-prioritized roadmap aligned with business objectives

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your design thinking workshop today and watch your organization transform!

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