From Tromsø to Saint Petersburg to Facilitate

I travelled to Saint Petersburg to facilitate a design workshop.

Post meta:


My section at the University Hospital of North Norway was asked to help out on using web technology in the project Establishment of a consultative network in rehabilitation and habilitation. The center with responsibility for the project was located in Saint Petersburg.

We were properly introduced to the project, but the challenges related to using the web were quite vague. We figured there could be both issues of a technical and organizational nature. And with initially only one trip to Saint Petersburg in mind, arranging a workshop with the project group seemed like what would give the most results.

I came up with a draft for the workshop that me and my colleagues expanded on. The overlaying methodology was Design Thinking.

Workshop Agenda

This was the final agenda for the workshop. It is a combination of the classic Future Workshop and methods of Design Thinking. It diverges and converges in both the sequence of steps and individual/group/plenum work.

Playback between each step.

1. Who’s your target group?

Define in plenum; Prioritize (by voting).

2. What’s their critiques, needs & wishes?

Write on post-its individually; Discuss & add more in groups; Cluster.

3. What’s most critical?

Which clusters are most critical? Prioritize (by voting).

How does it work today?

How do they interact with your service today (on a timeline)?; Where do the clusters belong?; Would you change priority from last step?

4. How can it be solved?

… with no consideration to constraints. Brainstorm in plenum (by adding post-its or taking turns orally), cluster by cluster if needed. Don’t be negative of ideas—rather expand further on ideas, or add new ones.

5. What is needed?

Split into groups; Pick an idea or several that can be solved with a web-product; What elements of a web-product are needed?; What else is needed?

6. How can you solve it?

Discussion in plenum. What are the related organizational and technical constraints?; What ideas from last step can you (alter to) do?; What should you do (vote)?


In summary—after mapping out critiques, needs and wishes, and categorizing/clustering them—the main challenges for the project at this time was in the internal organization of the project. It ended with two ideas for solving the challenges that were explored and tried realized.

The ideas seemed like reasonable (and usual/proven) solutions for how to organize a web-project like this. But these were the participants’ own ideas, with their own twists. And the process for getting there was fun, and got them up of their seats and involved.

On my part, as usual I had to evaluate the original agenda on my feet. The framing for some methods was changed and the As-is mapping method was skipped (something I was prepared could happen).