A workshop should be a means to an end rather than an end in and of itself. After you’ve run your project management office workshops, you need to know what the next steps are.
Both the facilitator and the workshop participants will put significant effort into a workshop. It’s vital that there is a clear process after the session ends to make sure the time isn’t wasted and the outcomes can be implemented properly.
To make sure that your PMO workshops are an ongoing success, we’re going to look at:
- What to do right after a workshop
- The next steps in the days after a PMO workshop
- What comes next in the weeks after a PMO workshop
This will help you track the long-term success of the workshops you help facilitate through your office.
Following up immediately after a workshop is complete
As soon as a workshop is finished, the facilitator should ask for feedback. This should be well-organised rather than a verbal “that was ok?”
It’s important to capture feedback right after the workshop so that issues are fresh and positive points don’t get lost in the days after. There are different ways that you can gather feedback, such as:
- Sending a form by email, so it’s waiting in the participant’s inbox when they return to their desk
- Handing out a paper form for the last ten minutes of the session to ensure feedback is received
- Doing a face-to-face feedback session with selected participants so you can probe deeper
Feedback can also be sought much later after the workshop. There will be actions that derive from the work done, and it can be important to check that participants have been satisfied with the whole process, not just by the time spent working on the problem at hand.
Once the feedback is in, it’s important to act on it. If people say the workshop icebreaker feels awkward, then you should change up the activity or if people say there was too much presenting from the facilitator, consider beefing up your pre-workshop reading list.
Workshop follow-up in the days after the event
One of the key roles in a workshop is the person recording the activities. The recordings should be accessible to everyone as soon as possible after the event without compromising on quality.
The best practice is to have two methods of recording, such as audio or video, as well as note-taking. This should allow the recorder to put together notes of what was discussed and decided.
Having notes can be particularly valuable when you’re running multiple workshops to answer the same question or resolve the same issue. This can ensure that common themes are easy to spot and ideas generated more than once can be captured.
Publishing the notes also adds a level of accountability. Everyone can confirm where solutions came from or if a person or department agreed to actions that need to be completed. This is further addressed in the longer-term actions after a workshop.
The long-term follow-up after a workshop
Once a workshop or series of workshops is completed, it’s time to decide on the actions that come next. If your PMO workshop was done to hammer out a project schedule, for example, then the schedule needs to be put together and sent to stakeholders to sign off.
Whatever actions are agreed upon need to be confirmed in writing with the set deadlines, so everyone knows what comes next. This follow-up is going to make the workshop a success – there’s no point in working through the session and then leaving the ideas, actions, or agreements on paper with no solid outcomes.
Making sure the actions get taken by the deadlines set will also be an indicator of the success of your workshops. If people leave engaged and excited about the subject at hand, they’re more likely to follow through.
Following up after a PMO workshop session
What comes after a workshop will indicate to you how successful the time was. Gathering feedback as soon as possible after the event will ensure your workshop facilitators and those involved in workshop planning know they are doing a solid job.
Making sure that all actions are communicated and completed after the workshop ensures that the time has been well-spent.