Review Workshop

It's half time of the Validate Phase! In this article we show you what happens in the Review Workshop and how you can prepare for it - as a team member as well as a coach.
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Karl Rabes

Business Design Coach

1. Purpose

The Review Workshop is the final workshop before the Decide Workshop (D-Day) for the Project Team. The workshop consists of two parts. The first one is dedicated to the presentation of new insights and the applied methodological approach of the Validate Phase. The team reviews these insights and briefly refines the business model, the offering(s) as well as the methodological approach. The second part focuses on the preparation of the final D-Day. You will have a look at how the D-Day takes places and what is expected from the team. Furthermore, you will start working on the final presentation by preparing a Decide Wall and defining the storyline for the final presentation. Starting with eight blank flip chart papers in a row on the wall/pinboards and the following eight categories will help develop the storyline and content for the final presentation in-line with the Business Design Process:

  1. Team / Task (e.g. project charter)

  2. Customer segmentation

  3. Discover Phase, main areas, main findings

  4. DNA of the business model

  5. Questions / hypotheses and overview of validation steps

  6. Detailed presentation of exploration / validation of each question / hypothesis

  7. Recommendation to the jury

  8. Brief reflection on what went well in the sprint and what didn't and what should be done better next time

Emphasize that each blank flip chart paper should explain a story of its own, whereby the leitmotif is nonetheless synchronized amongst all categories. Clearly address the team member roles and the speaking order for the final presentation. Take into account presentation skills, style and expertise that individual team members have. Consider that for some team members might be more efficient to prepare for a very detailed Q&A instead of trying to become a presentation pro in parallel to the remaining sprint work.

Concluding, we again spent the necessary time for task alignment and responsibilities (see Action Plan), before closing the workshop with a wrap-up and farewell.

2. Duration

1 full day + preparation and documentation

3. Participants

4. Preparation

As a Project Team Member

Our Guiding Principles are fully applicable for the development and alignment of the final presentation. We strive for a precise and consistent language, being visual and focussing on clear results. Thereby, it might appear repetitive to again sum up the customer segmentation, or business DNA on a flip chart. But it ensures everyone is on the same track. And it often shows that even at this stage there are very different opinions about the Business Model.

Keep an eye on your workload and its distribution among team members. At this late stage of the sprint schedules can get tight and tasks might pile up for some team members. Working on the preparation for the final presentation might need to be closely linked with the finalisation of validation activities.

Check out the box below to learn how you can prepare for the workshop.

  • Visualise your newest insights of the Validate Phase

  • Make sure you can communicate the core of each insight briefly and think about potential adaptions of the methodological approach

  • Recap all previous findings and make sure that you have your latest iteration of your Business Model in mind

  • Free up your calendar for the day and make sure you can attend the workshop with 100% attention

  • Arrange travel and accommodation in cases needed

As a Business Design Coach

The recommendation to the jury needs your special attention as this should draw logic conclusions based on the results of the Validate Phase and at the same time should reflect team consent. Having the storyline defined, it is essential to start collecting potential questions the sponsor might ask during the D-Day. Be ready for it and discuss how the team plans to answer them.

Schedule at least one whole day for the workshop and plan some backup in case the team shies away from making decisions. Preparation is key, whereas documentation should rely heavily on the teams shoulders.

The presentation of each team member's findings during the workshop should be very brief. Detailed discussions should be avoided if they are not absolutely necessary at this certain point. Take time-boxing strict, its your responsibility to politely end or postpone too detailed discussions in order to keep the schedule. The team will be tired after weeks of extra work besides their everyday job. The workshop is also there to motivate the team once more and to keep the tension until D-Day.

Be open to identify and address the "elephant-the-room" kind of topics. There might be personal or political topics that have grown during the sprint phases or that are a result of the validations done by the team. These topics need to be addressed before the final presentation during the D-Day. Not addressing them properly before the D-Day unnecessarily puts the work of the team and the credibility of the final recommendation at risk. Unsolved issues can cause the final presentation to end up in a big discussion or the sponsor to challenge the quality of the sprint results.

You should consider the following tasks to prepare the workshop.

  • Prepare all team members to briefly speak about new insights / findings

  • Prepare an overview of the main hypotheses and what was done to validate them (see Hypotheses & Experiments & Action Plan or other visualisations like a mindmap for a more detailed overview)

  • Coordinate with the Team Manager that all team members are invited, travels and accommodations are arranged

  • Define and align the agenda with the Team Manager

  • Book and organize room and catering

  • Prepare and print all tools & materials

5. Signs of Success

We consider the Review Workshop a success...

  • ...if the team has a common understanding of the entire "project flow" (intermediary results of each phase and conclusions for next phase)

  • ...if the project team defined a storyline for the final presentation

  • ...if there is a draft content for each category and anticipated sponsor questions

  • ...the project team detailed an Action Plan with clear tasks to be finished until the D-Day

  • ...if we all agree on the assigned team roles for the D-Day and the speaking order for the presentation

  • ...if the project team defined clear recommendation to the sponsor/jury and actionable next steps

6. Tools & Materials

7. Documentation

  • Pictures of the mindmap and the poster drafts at the end of the workshop are uploaded to the Project Workspace.

  • Overview of who is responsible for which poster (if not mentioned on the poster drafts).

  • All tasks for the coming days are documented in the Action Plan.

8. Q & A

  • What if a team member cannot make it to be present at the D-Day? Try to let him still participate via Skype or let the team member record a video of himself presenting a poster.

  • What if the team has some hypotheses still not validated? This is not unusual. Be transparent towards the jury and point out what has been validated and what is still to be validated in the next iteration.

  • What ways to visualize content are there besides the posters? Basically anything that helps others quickly understand what it is about. This could be, for example, a brochure which was used to communicate with users/customers, a landing page, a video of interviews or a prototype.

9. Room & Infrastructure

  • 1x Empty wall: > 420 x 200 cm 

  • 1x Empty wall: > 120 x 90 cm

  • Chairs or cube seats

  • 1x Low-distance projector for Project Workspace

  • 1x Table for catering

  • Hot & cold drinks, snacks or finger food

Example Layout

Room Layout for Review Workshop

10. Example Agenda

In some cases the Review Workshop has to take place in a virtual work environment, which influences the agenda. Check out our Miro Board to facilitate the Review Workshop online.





08:30 - 09:00

Arrival and "Good Morning Coffee"



09:00 - 09:15

Welcome and agenda walkthrough



09:15 - 10:00

Presentation of new insights from Validate phase


10:00 - 10:30

Review of new insights & refinement of the business model / offerings and methodological approach



10:30 - 10:45

Introduction to the Decide Workshop / D-Day



10:45 - 12:30

Definition of the storyline for the final presentation



12:30 - 13:30

Lunch break



13:30 - 15:00

Definition of the content of the poster(s) for the Decide Workshop / D-Day



15:00 - 16:00

Task management



16:00 - 16:15


  • Today's (personal) highlights

  • Reflection of teamwork

  • Short summary of output

  • Outlook



* P = Presentation | D = Discussion | B = Break | T = Teamwork