Corporate collaboration platforms, including enterprise social networks, are the technical lever for building a networked organisation. Thus, it is important that employees and leaders alike adopt the platform. Experience shows that „if you build it, they will come“ is not working. In past client projects I have normally used a framework called „The 6 Sources of Influence“ to design and develop adoption activities.
Having done some design sprints and completed the AJ&Smart Masterclass for Design Sprints, I was intrigued to see a video from AJ&Smart CEO Jonathan Courtney on Growth Hacking. In his video he explains how he combined Growth Hacking and Design Sprint principles in a new format. I saw this format also being valuable for brainstorming about adoption activities for the launch of a new collaboration platform or if you are trying to reinvigorate your existing platform. In the past weeks I had a chance to take the process for a test drive with clients. Within a short timeframe we were able to identify new experiments that the clients could try to further spur adoption of their platform.
Growth Hacking Workshop
Outcome: A list of experiments and/or initiatives to spur growth that each can be executed within 4-6 weeks. Alignment and prioritisation among your team.
Participants: 5-7 people, but as AJ&Smart showed in their video, you could do this also with 50+ people. A nice idea would be to also include some of your advocates or even people on the fence.
Big Idea: Growth depends on 3 key levers and should be looked at during a growth hacking workshop.
Acquisition: How do users find out about your platform?
Activation: How do you turn your users into active/passive users?
Retention: How do you make sure they come back?
Process: So this is how it works
Step 1: What is moving us forward?
This is essentially stating all the things related to acquisition, activation and retention that you are doing today already and is working well. Participants then stick them up on a wall and every participants reads them out loud. This step is important, as it creates a positive vibe among participants.
Step 2: What is holding us back?
Next, participants write down all the challenges and hurdles they see when it comes to acquisition, activation and retention. They then put them on the wall without reading them out loud or any discussions. Participants will then vote on the issues that they believe are most important. This principle is called „working together, alone“ and is based on the Google Design Sprint.
Step 3: How Might We (HMW)
The facilitator takes all the top-voted issues and turns them into HMWs (again, taken from the Design Sprint). The idea behind the HMWs is to rephrase the challenges and turn them into something that seems solvable to give it a more positive spin.
Step 4: Map
The Map can be useful to visualise the user journey from acquisition through to activation and retention to actually reaching your goal – active employee participation. You then map the HMWs onto the map to identify a target area for the rest of the workshop. In my view, this can also be omitted if you are already clear on which lever you would like to focus on.
Step 5: Lightning Demos
Again, this is something from the Design Sprint. They are essentially examples collected and presented by the participants that they found interesting and relevant for the selected lever. They help to get people inspired and potentially jump-start ideas. The LD could also include ideas you had before but where not executed or not executed well enough.
Step 6: Brainstorm Experiments
In this step, people are working on their own again, documenting their ideas of potential experiments. Rather than simply writing down the name, participants should also document 1) why they think it will work 2) explain how it will be executed 3) Show how we will know it worked 4) decide how long the experiment should run. I think you should encourage participants to create at least 2 experiments if there is sufficient time.
Step 7: Voting on Experiments
Each participants puts their experiment ideas on the wall without reading them out or discussing them. After that everyone just reads through the experiments on their own to decide which experiment he likes best. Then, each participants gets one vote and places that vote on his favourite experiment. The facilitator then removes all experiments that did not receive any votes. Participants then quickly explain the experiment they voted on, what they liked about it.
Step 8: Decide on Experiments
The facilitator writes the name of each voted experimented on separate post it notes. He also creates an effort vs. impact matrix and starts placing the experiments by asking the group to guide him.
Now the team has come up with great ideas (without much discussions) and have aligned on what should be executed first. Now it needs to be decided who does what experiment and how to track them.
The Growth Hacking workshop format has certainly found its place in my toolbox, not only for driving adoption of new software but also for other products and services.