The four key components of Strategy Analysis are principles, practices, techniques, and skills. They play an essential role in identifying and validating the organization’s strategic needs, defining suitable solution approach(es) and solution(s), and planning, monitoring, and engaging stakeholders to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives. Techniques describe a step-by-step approach to conducting Strategic Analysis activities.
How to bring together people from all levels of an organization to discuss and analyze problems and develop solutions? Here is a Strategy Analysis technique to achieve that. This blog will look at a technique called Workshops with examples. check more information about cbap training at adaptiveus e-learning.
History of Workshops as a strategy analysis
The use of workshops as a strategy analysis technique has roots in the early to mid-twentieth century. The concept of workshops and their use as a strategy analysis technique originated with the work of the French industrial engineer Henri Fayol. He developed the concept of workshops to bring together people from all levels of an organization to discuss and analyze problems and develop solutions.
In the 1950s, the concept of workshops as a strategy analysis technique was further developed by the U.S. Army and Air Force. These organizations used workshops to analyze and develop strategies for their operations in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
In the 1970s, workshops as a strategy analysis technique began to gain popularity in the business world. Companies used workshops to analyze and develop strategies for their operations. The use of workshops as a strategy analysis technique has continued to grow in popularity over the years, and today, workshops are an essential tool for many organizations, both in the public and private sectors.
A workshop is a highly productive, focused event attended by carefully selected key stakeholders for a short, intensive period (typically 1 to a few days). Workshops may be used to generate new ideas for features or products, reach an agreement on a topic, or review business needs, issues, and opportunities.
An experienced, neutral facilitator must facilitate the workshop. A scribe documents business needs, issues, and opportunities. Consultant may act as facilitator or scribe and can also be a participant in case she is an SME on topic. However, she MUST approach the participant role with caution, as she may unduly influence business needs, issues, and opportunities toward her own viewpoints and priorities.
Prepare for business needs, issues, opportunities workshop
- Clarify stakeholders’ needs and the purpose of the workshop.
- Identify critical stakeholders for the workshop.
- Identify the facilitator and scribe.
- Define the workshop’s agenda.
- Determine how to document the outputs of the workshop.
- Schedule sessions and send invitations.
- Arrange logistics.
- Send materials in advance so that attendees come prepared.
- Conduct pre-workshop interviews with (key) attendees to ensure the purpose of business needs, issues, and opportunities workshop is understood and aligned with the needs of (key) attendees.
- Sponsor – Has ultimate accountability for the outcome of the workshop.
- Facilitator – Introduces goals, agenda, and rules; facilitates decision-making and conflict resolution, gives participants a chance and ensures they don’t deviate from the topic.
- Scribe – Documents decisions in a predetermined format. Keep track of items deferred during the session.
- Timekeeper – Keeps track of time spent on each item in the agenda.
- Participants – Key stakeholders.
- State the purpose of the workshop and desired outcomes.
- Establish agreed-upon ground rules.
- Maintain focus by frequently validating workshop activities with stated objectives.
Post business needs, issues, opportunities workshop wrap-up
- Follow up on any open action items.
- Complete and distribute documentation.
Helps in collaborating effectively and attaining agreement in a relatively short period of time, although stakeholder availability could be a concern in scheduling workshops.
Advantages of Workshops as a strategy analysis technique
1. It encourages collaboration: Workshop sessions bring together a group of stakeholders and allow for the exchange of ideas and perspectives. This helps to foster a collaborative environment and allows for more meaningful discussion and understanding.
2. It encourages creativity: By allowing different perspectives to be brought together and discussed, workshop sessions can stimulate creativity and encourage out-of-the-box thinking.
3. It allows for real-time feedback: By allowing stakeholders to give feedback on the analysis results and ideas, workshop sessions allow for immediate feedback and can help to identify potential issues or changes that need to be made.
4. It can help to identify stakeholders: Workshop sessions can help to identify stakeholders and allow for their opinions to be heard. This helps to ensure that all stakeholders have a voice and that their opinions are taken into account.
5. It can be used to explore different scenarios: Workshop sessions can help to explore different scenarios and determine which ones are the most plausible or beneficial.
Weaknesses of Workshops as a strategy analysis technique
1. It can be time-consuming: Workshops require a lot of preparation and coordination and can take a lot of time to complete.
2. Not every participant may bring the same level of expertise and knowledge to the discussion: Some participants may have a better understanding of the topics discussed, while others may be less knowledgeable. This can lead to disagreements and confusion in the group.
3. It can be difficult to keep the group focused: When the workshop is too large, or participants have conflicting opinions, it can be difficult to keep the group on task.
4. It can be challenging to document and analyze results: After the workshop is over, it can be difficult to document and analyze the results.
5. It can be difficult to reach a consensus: Workshops can be a great way to generate ideas and solutions, but it can be difficult to reach a consensus on the best solution.
Relationship of Workshops with other strategy analysis techniques
The workshop is one of the key strategy analysis techniques used to evaluate and develop strategies. It is a method of bringing together a variety of stakeholders to discuss a particular issue and develop a plan of action. The workshop approach allows for the free exchange of ideas and opinions and the ability to hear different perspectives. This makes it a powerful tool for assessing the potential of strategies, exploring the implications of potential decisions, and developing creative solutions.
Workshops can be used in conjunction with other strategy analysis techniques to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a particular issue. For example, workshops can be used in conjunction with SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to help identify strengths and weaknesses and determine which strategies might be most effective for dealing with a particular situation. Similarly, workshops can be used in combination with scenario planning to consider the potential implications of different strategies.
Ultimately, the workshop approach is a powerful tool for strategic analysis. It can be used to draw on the collective wisdom of stakeholders to develop creative solutions and evaluate the potential of different strategies. When used in combination with other strategy analysis techniques, workshops can provide a comprehensive understanding of a particular issue and allow for the development of effective strategies.
Future of Workshop as a strategy analysis technique
Workshop as a strategy analysis technique is likely to remain a popular option for companies looking to gain insights into their strategies and operations. As technology advances, workshops can be used to facilitate more robust and sophisticated analysis, such as the use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). AI-based workshops can help companies identify potential risks, develop better strategies, and identify new opportunities.
Additionally, workshops can be used to facilitate collaborative decision-making and brainstorming among stakeholders, helping to ensure that decisions are made with the input of all parties involved. As companies become more aware of the value of strategy analysis, the use of workshops as a strategy analysis technique is likely to continue to grow.