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Part 2: 10 non-obvious tips for successful virtual innovation workshops.

Written by: Thomas Benaroya - Winnovate Program Lead

Part 1: 10 non-obvious tips for successful virtual innovation workshops can be found here

Winnovate Tip #6: Don’t forget support coaches

As compared to physical workshops, virtual workshops require more support manpower to help the various teams navigate the instructional design within their respective breakout rooms. Our set up includes a head coach who orchestrates the workshop, delivers the content and sends teams into breakout rooms with the support of coaches who take over within those spaces. This avoids idle time, where teams are waiting for the head coach to jump into their breakout room.



When running physical workshops, we would always welcome participants with breakfast or lunch. We would also punctate the day with several coffee breaks. These moments are extremely important for socializing, building customer intimacy and creating the ‘risk free zone’ we need for design thinking. We have had to re-design that experience. Here are a couple tips to help for those moments during digital breaks.


Winnovate Tip #7: Play Music

When welcoming participants at the beginning of the call or during digital breaks play music or videos clips. Participants will know that the session starts when the music stops. Music helps avoid those awkward moments while waiting for participants to join the call.


Winnovate Tip #8: Play games, run surveys

To stimulate participants during digital breaks or prior to session start, we encourage games and surveys.  For example, 

  • try our “SAP Wheel of Purpose” to raise awareness around some of the UN Sustainable development goals. 
  • run fun surveys. ZOOM also allows for polling. We will ask our participants: “How many coffees they have had today.”
  • Create fun competitions with participants on the content previously presented. Kahoot is a great tool to embed in your digital breaks.



Excluding technology, we have found that the ingredients to running a virtual workshop are no different to physical ones. Like in physical workshops, we will use icebreakers, present business cases, use a timer, leverage our ‘digital’ canvases, cluster sticky notes and prototype digitally. In larger engagements we will prompt conversations through the ‘Chat’ functionality to avoid participants speaking over each other. In the virtual set up, coaches obviously need to be fluent in the various technologies supporting the creative process. Additionally, we will allocate time for the participants to get familiar with MURAL and the tools themselves.


Winnovate Tip #9: Document the workshop

Documenting the workshop is made much easier when delivering the workshops virtually. Here are some of the features we have discovered that accelerates the documentation process:

  • In MURAL, you can export your MURAL as PDF or PNG. You can export your various area as images. You can perform a mass copy of “sticky notes” as TEXT.
  • In ZOOM or MS teams, you can export your chat and record the workshops.
  • During Empathy, we will use Qualtrics to capture interview and drive Persona centric insight. All the interview results are easily accessible to the participants through reports and dashboards.
  • We encourage the use of digital prototyping tools such as SAP Build for your project lifecycle, Storyboardthat for storyboards, or https://proto.io/ for wireframes. All these tools allow to document user feedback in real time.


Winnovate Tip #10: Execute with Winnovate, powered by SAP

Try our modular offering: we will empower you and your team to co-create, validate and implement innovative solutions that generate value for your stakeholders in virtual and hybrid setups. Using a unique blend of tools from Design Thinking, Business Model Innovation, Positive Psychology and other leading innovation methodologies, we provide the skills needed to enhance the success of break-through innovation and motivate employees with the “Confidence to Innovate”.

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