Human Centred Stakeholder Workshops Excel Online with The Right Collaboration Tool – Derby Museums

Derby Silk Mill is widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory.

Hannah Fox is the Director of Projects and Programmes for Derby Museums, an organization that manages 3 public museums of art, history and natural history located in Derby, United Kingdom: The Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House, and their latest project, the Museum of Making located at Derby Silk Mill, an £18 Million development due to open in Spring 2021!

As an organization, Derby Museums uses human-centred design (design thinking) and co-production approaches to develop their projects, programmes and activities with their communities.

To learn more about this approach you can read DERBY MUSEUMS Human-Centred Design Handbook.

They also deliver online training for other cultural organizations that are interested in using human centred design and co-production approaches.

Facilitating Collaboration Online

Collaboration is at the heart of Derby Museums’ projects. They work together internally as well as with external parties and use design-thinking tools to capture and prioritise the desires and needs of their communities and stakeholders.

Before the pandemic, most of Derby Museums’ development sessions and workshops took place face to face and were facilitated through flip charts and post-it-notes… lots of post-it-notes!

As many companies have in recent times, Hannah needed to take Derby Museums’ activities into the digital space and required a platform where they could facilitate their sessions online. The need to transition to a new modality for what had been outcomes driven by human contact meant that processes had to be re-engineered and meeting tools used to ensure that the values, outcomes and methodologies of Derby could be maintained, if not enhanced.

Finding the Right Collaboration Tool for Remote Teams

It was important for Hannah to find a platform that could offer a choice of tools for collaborative human-centred design brainstorming and thinking. She also needed the collaboration tool to be intuitive, flexible and able to provide a great experience for both the facilitator and participants, with the massive price tags and steep learning curve.

Before finding GroupMap she had tried other collaboration tools, but found they were either too restrictive, with limited ways to engage, or too open, which led to participants interrupting each other’s contributions and as a result the experience became messy and the session less effective.

I’ve been looking for a great digital platform that allows us to do similar things online as we do in person – brainstorming, empathy mapping, journey mapping etc. and have tried several – Miro, Mural, Google Jamboard etc. and I think GroupMap is by far the best user experience‘. – Hannah Fox

Workshop Facilitation Tools and Techniques

Derby Museums have been using GroupMap to support them in their Museum of Making project. 

They have conducted a wide range of collaborative development sessions with staff, volunteers, and stakeholders in groups of between 10 to 50 people. These sessions were conducted through a range of virtual meetings and workshops and a range of activities and techniques were supported.

These included:

  • General Brainstorming
  • Empathy Mapping
  • Value Proposition
  • Stakeholder Mapping
  • Programme Design
  • Project Development
  • Teaching
Empathy Map with GroupMap

Hannah's GroupMap Experience

GroupMap provided an invaluable collaborative tool that allowed facilitators to plan and deliver sessions effectively, enabling the journey mapping of sessions ahead of time and creating ways to run a workshop and gather insights that seamlessly enabled collaborative thinking. The participant experience was enjoyable, interesting and fun!‘ – Hannah Fox

Hannah was impressed by the abundance of templates GroupMap provides to help get you started, noting that they were very relevant and hugely useful. 

Hannah also reflected that the ability for the group to brainstorm and generate lots of ideas quickly in GroupMap had been particularly useful. 

As a facilitator, being able to see who is contributing enabled her to offer prompts to support the quieter contributors to increase overall engagement and participation.

She received great feedback from the participants of her development sessions with the most common compliments being how intuitive and easy it was to use the platform.

Really enjoyed the session you ran using GroupMap – it was a fantastic way to collaborate!’ – Meeting participant

Value Proposition with GroupMap

GroupMap: Supporting Organizational Outcomes

For Derby Museums, GroupMap has been a huge success, helping them achieve their organizational outcomes of:

  • Collaborative planning
  • Human-centred design and co-production activities
  • Sector teaching opportunities

At last, a platform that supports the way we think and gives us a fantastic digital space to develop ideas and collaborate with others! It helped us take our normal project planning and in person activities online during the pandemic, but will continue to be a hugely useful addition to our resources once a little bit of normality returns.’- Hannah Fox

Derby Museums will be continuing to use GroupMap for planning and developing their internal projects, as well as externally to engage with partners and communities in developing ideas, gathering data and for delivering workshops and activities. These partners include corporations like Rolls-Royce, as well as museum organisations internationally.

Want to try GroupMap as an online brainstorm tool? 

Schedule a demo with a GroupMap team member at a day and time that suits you best or have a go of our easy to use, supported online brainstorm tool for FREE for 14 days today. 

How the Business Model Canvas and Pestle Analysis Helped Businesses Pivot during COVID-19

Morehouse College Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC) is a unit of Morehouse College, a historically Black, private liberal arts institution for men located in Atlanta, Georgia. Its focus is to educate men who are intellectually, socially and morally equipped to meet the challenges, and opportunities of their professions and communities. Noted Alumni include 16th U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher and Academy Award winning filmmaker and director Spike Lee.

The MIEC is a global model for higher education and industry collaboration that connects education with student leadership development, and community-focused resources and support. MIEC runs a program called the Accelerating Growth Activator’s Program (AGAP). This program consists of business owners participating in bi-weekly sessions focused on Leadership Development, Marketing, Sales, Finance, People Management, and Securing Capital.

It is a 24-week program designed to be the catalyst to support businesses in securing funding that ignites economic growth by exercising strategic agility, procuring new customers, expanding market share, and increasing jobs.

Business Owners receive 1:1 coaching by Subject Matter Experts and participate in Executive Round Table discussions.

We asked the Program leaders Danita Harris to share insights into how they used GroupMap to help them achieve their goals in this amazing entrepreneurial program and how they helped their students build entrepreneurial capacity and knowledge. This is what they had to share.

AGAP Launch Event

Choosing an online brainstorming tool for student engagement

“We needed a collaborative brainstorming tool that allows our business owners to capture information throughout each of the sessions. These sessions were aimed to help them develop their strategic plan, capabilities statement, sales pitch, and growth plans. We selected GroupMap as a collaborative online brainstorming and meeting tool to support the Accelerating Growth Activator’s Program (AGAP). This would allow our coaches and subject matter experts to guide and facilitate sessions with each business owner, offer an organized way to collect their ideas and inspirations and help them refine their business models”.

“GroupMap offered over 80 easy to use customisable templates and the ability to set up a workspace for each of our businesses. Each business leveraged their workspace to collaborate with other business owners in the program and/or share with their respective teams. We primarily used two templates to support our needs: PESTLE Analysis and Business Model Canvas to support the goals and outcomes of the program”.

PESTLE Analysis

Business Owners leveraged the Pestle Analysis to document Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors that impacted their business and industry. This interactive template was most beneficial in capturing the impact of COVID-19 on the businesses who found the online tool to be easy to use. They also used the reporting function to download and share the map. This environmental scan and understanding of the changing business landscape served as the foundation for developing their business model canvas and overall strategy.

Below is an example of a business owner’s Pestle Analysis.

By completing the PESTLE analysis, each of the business owners had a clearer understanding of the business environment and could assess how each of these factors could directly or indirectly affect their business which would inform the next stage of completing their business model canvas.

Business Model Canvas (aka Strategic Canvas)

The second template business owners leveraged was the Business Model Canvas. To meet our needs, we renamed the Business Model Canvas to the Strategic Canvas as it served as an agile approach for strategic planning. The Strategic Canvas consisted of nine boxes that captured the business’:
  • Vision Statement/Value Proposition
  • Pestle Trends
  • Customers
  • Assets & Partners
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources
  • Marketing & Engagement Strategy
  • Cost to Launch
  • Expected Revenue

The Strategic Canvas is only a few pages compared to an overloaded Strategic Plan that usually ends up on a bookshelf and rarely executed. Having the ability to use the Strategic Canvas to leverage a more agile approach to strategic planning was most beneficial to the canvas. 

Also, because of the online functionality, updates can easily be made to the Canvas, and it becomes a LIVING document. It is a succinct, precise way to capture information needed to create a Capabilities Statement, Sales Pitch, Growth Plans, and many other uses. It can easily be shared with potential investors, employees, potential partners, and shareholders versus the traditional business plan.

Feedback from business owners included

  1. Online centralized collaborative platform
  2. Ease of Use
  3. Invaluable tool to narrow down to a core actionable idea(s).

It is recommended that the novice user set aside time to explore the many features GroupMap has to offer. Businesses can directly contact GroupMap to get answers, learn more about plans and even give suggestions for future templates.

GroupMap and MIEC: Bridging the Gap in Facilitating collaboration online


While the sleek and sophisticated designs can seem somewhat intimidating at first glance, we found GroupMap to be extremely user friendly. The templates were already created, and Business owners were able to successfully leverage GroupMap and effectively use the Pestle Analysis and Strategic Canvas.

GroupMap’s customizable and user-friendly templates are directly in line with MIEC’s need to have an online

Collaboration tool for business owners, and are great for remote or distributed teams.

Have more questions or would like a demo?

Remote Brainstorming and Collaboration Tool Helps to Enrich Engagement and Learning


With the aim of improving the way their community discusses complex issues in order to arrive at better decisions, the Colorado State University Centre for Public Deliberation is an impartial resource for the local northern Colorado community, that is able to assist local government, schools, and community organizations in problem-solving key issues.

Core to the CPD’s process is working with partners to invite those affected by the issue ‘into the room’ where students trained in small group facilitation guide participants through sometimes challenging conversations.

So, what happens when no one is leaving their own home let alone stepping foot into ‘the room’?

As a result of the pandemic, like many other organizations, the CPD needed to quickly pivot and take those conversations online without eroding their effectiveness.  

Professor Martin Carcasson, the Director of the CPD and a Communication Studies academic, shared with us how he and his team used GroupMap to embrace the challenges they faced and realized the opportunities offered by online facilitation with GroupMap.

Since 2006 the CPD has served its community through its efforts to enhance local democracy. They work with their city and county governments, school districts, and community organizations to increase the capacity needed to address difficult shared problems, and elevate the overall quality of conversation and engagement regarding those issues.

It has done so by creating open spaces for citizens to come together equipped with information and skilled facilitators to explore important issues relating to community problem solving and public decision making.

The CPD trains Colorado State University undergraduate students as facilitators; their team of 30 can turn an audience of around 100 participants into small groups, thereby paving the way for vastly different conversations to take place and avoiding the problematic experience of participants speaking one at a time at a microphone and simply talking past each other.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, the majority of the CPD’s small group discussions happened in person.

“Covid obviously forced us to quickly adapt and move online,” said Professor Carcasson “though, as a silver lining, it fast forwarded everyone’s comfort with online meetings, so it actually opened up a lot of opportunities for us”.

“As we looked into various options of software to use to assist with our processes once we moved online, we learned about GroupMap, and it seemed the best fit to what we needed.”

“I came across GroupMap in two ways at about the same time. I was helping a local facilitator, Chris Hutchinson of the Trebuchet Group, with a project, and he used GroupMap. I also had a graduate student with the CPD do a project last semester exploring various online platforms for synchronous engagement which led to the NCDD Online Engagement Showcase. GroupMap was one of the platforms that participated in that event.”

Easier group discussions that deliver deeper engagement

In addition to making the online transition easier, GroupMap helped address other challenges associated with group engagement.

“The problem with small groups, however, is you are limited in the natural diversity (demographic and viewpoint) of the group, and participants are always curious what is going on with the rest of the participants.”

Prior to their use of GroupMap, the CPD used an audience response system during in person events whereby participants submitted responses to questions using a small handset. To connect the large group and small group processes, multiple choice questions were posed that the whole group could answer and then respond to in the small group. However, this approach was limited to the multiple choice format.

The CPD then switched to an online service that used participants’ smart phones, which meant participants could respond to open ended questions. Although this allowed the CPD to move beyond a multiple-choice structure, the response flow remained rigidly one-way.


Meaningful Online Conversations

“As we moved online, we saw GroupMap as a much more flexible and interactive version of this. It allows us to not only get input from the large group, but people can also comment on each other’s ideas, as well as voting and prioritizing those ideas”.

Professor Carcasson’s work aims to allow people to express their opinions, then interact with each other’s ideas and work to elevate those that are stronger. He notes that while GroupMap facilitates both of these endeavors, he perceives the second is crucial.

With this in mind, Professor Carcasson aligns his group and map management to bring the greatest value to his discussions.

“We have successfully used GroupMap with Zoom breakouts to have small group discussions with multiple groups on the same map.”

“We like small discussion groups of around six to eight, but GroupMap groups of around 40, so maybe five to six small groups per map. We have student facilitators in each group helping explain things and spark discussion, while a separate facilitator watches the map. We have run some processes with 120 people, so we had numerous small groups but four separate maps. It enabled us to collect wonderful ideas and get have people prioritize and engage.”

“One map template I’ve created and used a lot is a Polarity Map, based on the work by Barry Johnson. GroupMap has been very helpful for me to help people create polarity maps and for me to have a place to brainstorm and refine my maps.”

“GroupMap helped participants see more ideas from the entire room – not just those generated in their small group – while also likely working better for introverts that prefer to write than speak. I think that is a critical aspect of GroupMap, since most of our processes are inherently biased toward extroverts that like to think out loud and can dominate processes. GroupMap provides some nice balance to that situation.”

Overall, GroupMap has had a positive impact on the work of Professor Carcasson and his team.

Enriching learning with asynchronous collaborations

Professor Carcasson has continued to innovate with GroupMap.

“In terms of my teaching, GroupMap has been very useful to integrate synchronous and asynchronous work. I like to have my students engage the readings between classes and start the conversation online, so then our in-class discussions can be much richer. Doing that well has always been a challenge, and GroupMap has provided new strategies that have worked very well so far.”

“One other thing we’ve done that I really liked that GroupMap facilitated was engaging alumni of our program (or, alternatively, allowing people not at the initial meeting to react to and contribute to an exercise). We have a facilitation training exercise in which students react to a variety of problematic statements and design a response to reframe them. We used GroupMap to collect the initial ideas and have people respond or talk through them. I was also able to send the link to our alumni through social media, which allowed them all to engage.”

The CPD has found the response to GroupMap has been very positive.

“The fact that people can publicly see the information and can be sent a view link afterwards to engage it is also important to transparency.”

“Students have enjoyed GroupMap because it is a significant improvement upon writing a paragraph response on the reading at the course website. I use a single map to ask questions like –

  • What is something that you want to talk about more?
  • What is something you disagree with or want to push back on or didn’t make sense?
  • What is something that gave you an Aha moment during the reading?
  • What questions do you have?

Students populate the four questions between classes, and the night before, I ask them to all rank which responses they most want to discuss in class. I use that ranking to finalize the class discussion and process.”

GM Written with the kind collaboration of Professor Martin Carcasson Director of the CPD.

Case Study: Hackathon Brainstorming and Team Judging


GroupMap was used as the collaborative idea management tool for teams to create new marketing ideas using the lean model canvas and as an online competition judging software so that judges could score the team pitches in real-time. The Curtin University Marketing Hackathon was a 2-day event held at Technology Park. High school students, current undergraduates, and professional marketing gurus came together to brainstorm innovative new ideas to improve student attraction and retention.


Kicking off was a spread of ideas from student festivals through to a make your own “course”, teams then formed comprised of a minimal of 3 skill sets along with the founders.

Hustlers (someone who has professional industry experience) hipsters (the creative types able to expand upon ideas and generate content) and hackers( the programmer and/or website-maker of the clan), combined with an honorary high school student create a dream team of mixed superpowers (special skills and talents).

at the wall

But how do you coordinate the diverse views and conflicting views to create a more consensus approach? With time ticking, it was important that each and every person in the team was focused in the same direction.

Using the Lean Model Canvas as the foundation – with a small tweak customized to suit – teams rapidly planned out their plan of attack, consolidating their idea.

Teams could plan their approach, share this with their mentors and test which assumptions they needed to most validate.

GroupMap lean canvas

“Using the lean canvas on GroupMap was a really handy tool that allowed our group to systemize our strategy. It helped us find our feet using the template as a guide as it was really easy to go astray,” said Sean Eamer – current student and Hackathon participant. “We had to deconstruct our grandiose business idea into smaller pieces and proved to be a good way to go through and re-evaluate things.”


The next 48 hours was a fun, intensive and gruelling event, with pivoting of ideas, validation with key customers and reaching out to people online, face to face and in classrooms.


Finally, it was time for teams to pitches. Judges representing internal departments, agency partners and student representatives provided feedback and scores against criteria, in real time, using GroupMap as a contest judging software.

GroupMap Scoring template
GroupMap judging

We obviously can’t share what the winning ideas were, but congratulations to the winning teams from both the judges and from the People’s vote. We wish you a truck load of success as you move to the next phase of bringing these initiatives to life.

pitch 2
winning team 1

So why run a Hackathon and how do you smash out amazing outputs over 2 days? Here’s what some of the judges had to say about the event. Read the full story here.

“We use startup methodology and processes to rapidly test some ideas on our customers, generate break-through thinking…. We were able to accelerate the design and development of new ideas over two days to such a degree that we had multiple test websites built, channel plans developed and initiatives practically ready to launch.”
Ty Hayes (Chief Marketing Officer)

“The diversity and quality of ideas generated demonstrated how a traditional marketing problem can be resolved quickly and effectively across a broad range of marketing platforms using innovative thought processes.”
John Discoll (CEO at Marketforce)

“With the university sector increasingly targeted towards online learning environments it is vital we maximise our use of emerging technologies and processes to become a recognised international leader in research and education.”
Valerie Raubenheimer  (VP Corporate Relations)



Feeling inspired to run your own Hackathon?

We thought we would share a few learnings and tips.

1. Support from the top

It’s great to have energy on the day. In fact, the participants bring this with them. But the message from decision-makers and leaders is about supporting both the wins and fails of the day and nearly shouting out from rooftops about why they are supporting the event. The last thing you want is a room full of personal mental blocks full of people worrying about what they need to get done by as part of their day to day job.

2.  Space matters

Over cater just by a little, don’t skimp on the coffee, keep the brain health and don’t forget the right levels of cush for the toosh. Whether it’s bean bags, sound bytes or a good dose of fresh air, make sure both the devices and participants are juiced up and ready for action.

3.  Structure for synergy

Using collaborative software to allow for the pollination of ideas. Set the ground rules but don’t be an administrative nazi. Give people space to think but capture things quickly and encourage quick but effective decision making so that they can get on with validating the idea. Use team voting to get past blocks. Coach mentors to be add ons. They should offer direction, not just critique. Finally set a few milestones to keep teams on track.

4. Start with the end in mind

Okay, so this is a concept espoused by Steven Covey, but it applies even in the world of Hackathons. With limited time frames, teams need to focus on the key action points that will drive the greatest value and aim for a particular outcome by the end of the session. The judging criteria will drive behaviour and so it makes sense to create the context about how teams will be judged on their final outputs. Making sure your criteria meets the goals of the event. Think of this way…imagine the perfect demo and then work backwards from there.

5. Give feedback to teams and plenty of it

Whether or not your judges scribble things on little bits of paper or a worksheet, or use a real-time judging software, the key thing is to get that feedback to the actual teams. They have worked hard, and if there’s no feedback, there’s no learning. And isn’t that the whole point? Of course, we would recommend you open it up to the audience to give feedback to teams.  The worse teams have the most to improve so every piece of feedback matters.
Take a peek at what happened.

Want to use online brainstorming or competition judging software at your event? Get in touch with us.

Case Study: Check Out These Facilitation Techniques by Award Winning Facilitator

Andrew Huffer runs facilitation, community engagement, team development, and training consultancy that supports government, business, and community organisations to do their best work.

Group Map Case Study – Andrew Huffer

Who is Andrew Huffer?

Andrew Huffer runs facilitation, community engagement, team development, and training consultancy that supports government, business, and community organisations to do their best work. His work takes him from Broome to Launceston; Perth to Port Moresby, Albany to Auckland. Wherever you are, he and his team can be on your patch, working with you to get the results you need, when you need them most. Andrew Huffer is the proud recipient of the 2015 Australian IAF Global Facilitation Impact Award.
1. What was the event, meeting or objective you were using GroupMap to resolve?
The Australian Dairy Leaders Alumni Forum

2. What were the details of the event in terms of size, name, and location? Is there a link we can refer to?
A national gathering of over 50 leaders from across the Australian dairy industry, held in Melbourne in December 2015. The summit enabled participants to identify how they would invest in their community, their industry, and importantly – themselves. Involved facilitation of interactive, speaker, panel, and workshop sessions and a program debrief with the planning team.

3. What was the main challenge you wanted to resolve?
Sharing multiple views and solutions across a range of topics with over 50 participants in less than 90 minutes.

4. In what way/s did you use GroupMap?
Participants chose one of four topics to work on within a break-out group. Each group identified three BIG ideas to develop to provide leadership to their community or industry in relation to the topic.

5. What was the response from the audience?
Very positive, especially in the reporting back session.

6. What outcomes/output did you achieve from using GroupMap?
GroupMap allowed more time for discussion of the topic as the reporting back time was much more streamlined. The information recorded was exported straight into the workshop report that the client had delivered to them within 24 hours.

7. Is there anything else you want to say to people considering using GroupMap for themselves?
If you’re using GroupMap, you still need to plan sound, simple, and logical facilitation processes. With reasonable planning (and a decent wifi connection) it will give you loads of flexibility in capturing and sharing individual and group ideas.
Read Andrew Huffer’s full blog about GroupMap Here!

It’s a great alternative to the omnipresent flipchart paper that can often bring groans of ‘you’re making us work’ when they’re rolled out in a workshop.

ANDREW HUFFER | Andrew Huffer and Associates

Case study – Teaching and Learning Forum – Examples of GroupMap in the Classroom #Edtech

How GroupMap is being used in Classrooms to facilitate student learning.

The following are examples of how educators are effectively engaging their students in group discussion, collaborative learning, and speeding up the feedback process for their students. These ideas were presented at the WAND teaching and learning conference held at Curtin University and offer some wonderful examples of how teachers can employ innovative practices in delivering their curriculum.

Facilitating online discussions with pre-service teachers

Paul from the School of Education presented on how he used Edward De Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” format to brainstorm inclusive practices for students. The learning outcome was for students to explore the idea of having a student from a different country joining a classroom. Rather than one specific country, however, he asked participants to imagine that in the future, Aliens had been discovered from Mars and that a Martian was joining the classroom. Using the different perspectives of Edward De Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats”, pre-service teachers could then explore and list a wide range of issues that needed to be considered within the school environment.   Given that this was also an online class, it meant that everyone had the opportunity to participate in the process and perspectives from a wide range of participants could be inputted. Based on the outputs it looks like they had a great session, generating ideas and solutions to cross-cultural bridges. It’s no wonder that Paul received positive feedback from students like “This is the first time in my online course that I actually feel like a student that could contribute. All my courses should be like this.”

What could you try?

  • Using the 6 thinking hats approach so that people are encouraged to think differently about the same situation.
  • Integrating GroupMap into your own LMS (Blackboard was used in this case) to make the experience more seamless.
  • Augmenting your online course with a collaborative online brainstorming tool,

Smarter Team Planning

Bhadra, (Manager-Curtin Library Learning Services) went through the way she and her team had used GroupMap for unit planning. Instead of gathering up all the sticky notes or madly writing down notes during meetings, each person added their ideas and comments to a GroupMap over the course of a month. Many hands make light work, and by the end of the process, the team had plenty of useful information in one, easily accessible place. The best thing about it? Everyone was able to have their say and see what others were talking about (without the hassle of scheduling around a dozen people’s busy lives). Less early morning meetings equal more sleep for everyone.

GroupMap at Teaching and Learning Conference

What could you try?

  • Running your online brainstorming sessions prior to your meeting to allow people more think time.
  • Speeding up your meetings by having people add their thoughts to a key topic beforehand.
  • Capturing thinking as you plan so you have a written record and evidence of the planning process.

Deeper Discussion through a compare and contrast exercise

Naggamal, a Clinical and Professional fellow, entertained us with her use of GroupMap in the more traditional classroom environment. Naggamal used GroupMap to look at the pros and cons of different medical radiation equipment with her students. Students were asked to expand their thinking by branching out from a given set of medical radiation tools. By comparing and contrasting, students can better consolidate their understanding whilst applying critical thinking to the diagnostic methods. With something as technical as this, she said it was great to see students able to explore topics with no one fixed answer. She also has the ability to comment and give feedback to the conversation as it developed.


What can you try?

  • Provide feedback in real-time to groups as they present ideas.
  • Use GroupMap as a formative assessment tool to evaluate student understanding of key topics.
  • Facilitate a class discussion based on the overall output by the students.

Can we help?

Want some ideas specific to your classroom? We’d love to help. Just drop us an email with what you have in mind and we will be more than happy to help create a wonderful teaching and a learning experience

Case Study: Tuna Blue Uses Innovative Facilitation Tools to Engage Stakeholders

Tuna Blue Facilitation supports groups to make their best decisions together by providing tailored facilitation processes paired with innovative digital technology.

Group Map Case Study – Tuna Blue Facilitation

Who is Tuna Blue?

Tuna Blue Facilitation supports groups to make their best decisions together by providing tailored facilitation processes paired with innovative digital technology. It’s an approach they call Long Haul Facilitation and it’s been refined in 1,300+ workshops with Government, community, and corporate groups in a diverse range of sectors. Always ready for the long haul, Will and Bevan at Tuna Blue have worked across Australia and the Asia Pacific to help groups get the buy-in and engagement they deserve.

1. What was the event, meeting, or objective you were using GroupMap to resolve?

Stakeholder review of the Model of Care for Palliative Care in Western Australia.

2. What were the details of the event in terms of size, name, and location? Is there a link we can refer to?

Over 100 passionate stakeholders (primary and specialist care, allied health, consumers, etc.) at a one-day forum in Perth, WA plus a further 13 regional and remote representatives via Webinar later in the month.

3. What was the main challenge you wanted to resolve?

How to gain really focused and pragmatic input on changes to the Models of Care from a diverse range of expert stakeholders in a way that allowed everyone to have a voice but reached some pretty clear consensus before 4 pm.

4. In what way/s did you use GroupMap?

We created a number of maps for the different workshop sessions throughout the day:

  • A ‘Burning Issues’ session straight upfront, within 3 mins of the forum beginning.
  • A service delivery ‘Gaps and Solutions’ session with the solutions specifically linked to particular gaps through the use of the comment function.
  • A ‘world café’ style session focused on the 5 priority areas for review within the Models of Care, and
  • A shared 10 year Vision session.

5. What was the response from the audience?

We worked in collaborative mode and the participants loved the ability to discuss and enter their views in small groups plus build on other groups’ input. Most of all though, they were astonished that a level of consensus could be reached with 100 people present and that they could leave at 4 pm with a good idea of the overall strategic direction and a clear head. The sponsor closed the forum by saying ‘after running things this way, I don’t think we can ever go back to butchers’ paper and texts, this absolutely changes how engage’.

6. What outcomes/output did you achieve from using GroupMap?

With the wealth of input from the GroupMap sessions and plenaries, we developed a detailed Outcomes Report for the client to guide their review of the Models of Care with the smaller Steering Group. At a deeper level, the stakeholder group was engaged and felt a greater sense of ownership over the changes to the Models of Care that will affect their daily work and their patients.

7. Is there anything else you want to say to people considering using GroupMap for themselves?

We always stress to participants that GroupMap is the technology but the discussion between people is the really catalytic part, where change will occur. So make sure you’ve designed some robust facilitation processes to coincide with GroupMap and you’ll be sweet!

Read more about Tuna Blue’s mission statement here!

“GroupMap has fundamentally changed the way we do business. As a facilitation consultancy that spent the last 20 years on butchers’ paper, GroupMap has met a real need for ourselves and our clients. Plus it’s made us review and refresh the way we facilitate workshops.”

Will Bessen, Tuna Blue Facilitation

Using GroupMap for group facilitation at workshop

Case Study: AHCWA Uses Interactive Tools to Facilitate Engaging Workshops

Setting the scene

Aboriginal Health Council of WA (AHCWA) is the peak body for the 22 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and was looking to engage their delegates with interactive facilitation tools at their conference.

The conference involved sixteen wonderful presenters discussing subjects ranging from environmental health issues to sexual health and social issues. 12 engaging workshops over 2 days involved key stakeholders from healthcare professionals to community members to policymakers. GroupMap (workshop facilitation tool) captured thoughts, opinions, and potential solutions from over 250 participants in real-time. Read on to find out how.

How were the workshops run?

Each workshop began with a presentation and a short discussion involving the workshop issue. After discussion, the audience broke up into groups, with each table having a digital scribe to record thoughts and comments onto a private map.

Each table was able to contribute in real-time, as well as comment and vote on ideas they felt most strongly about. As participants did so, the results were displayed via projector for the whole room to see.

As the workshop progressed, it was great to see the culmination of the room’s ideas and audience response captured and displayed front and center. Participants brainstormed what issues currently exist, what are the gaps, what has worked well, and what needs to be done.

This ultimately culminated in a group discussion on concerns relevant to the group, with a range of possible solutions to propose to the government.

Top 5 takeaways for conference planners

  1. Driven by audience feedback

    Feedback from last year’s conference saw a need for more audience interaction and contribution and this was the driving force behind this year’s workshop structure. The engagement was semi-structured with a lightning presentation on a key topic, grouped table discussion which was captured, shared, and discuss with the whole group in real-time, followed by questions and comments from the room.

  2. Ask the right questions

    The questions you ask direct the minds of participants and guides discussion. In this case, the questions were focused on what are the existing gaps, and what solutions or steps should be taken. Clear and concise questions acted as signposts and made it difficult to wander off-topic.

  3. Using interactive workshop facilitation tools

    Collaboration is time consuming when people have to take turns speaking. Interactive facilitation tools  (in this case GroupMap) allowed workshops to rapidly collect and store ideas in order to dive right into the discussion. As ideas were shared on the big screen, all the views in the room could be seen and added to the goals of the event.

  4. Mix it up

    The conference also showcased a musical number from an Indigenous Youth Group, inspiring storytelling, and a plethora of different topics.

  5. Following through

    Often we go through all the hard work and forget to capitalize on our efforts. Collating all the sticky notes can be too daunting a task. As there were separate reports for each topic and workshop, this could then be easily reviewed and an action list created.

What was the reaction?

It was great to see everyone engaged and enjoying the workshop collaborations. Workshop facilitators were able to customize how the audience interacted with GroupMap (in this case mainly through voting on the most important ideas and issues) leading to a more effective and focused discussion. Having a real-time brainstorming tool allowed people to share their ideas and to have this captured in real-time.

Having concluded the interactive workshops it was time to wrap things up with a review of everyone’s comments and ideas. The facilitators printed off their reports during the morning tea break, and shortly after the group as a whole enjoyed each facilitator’s presentation on what workshop participants had to say about the issues at hand.

Looking for more?

Inspired to use GroupMap at your next conference? Start your free trial today, and if you need help or have any questions get in touch with us.

Lucid Meetings uses GroupMap to deliver best online collaboration

Lucid meetings online meetings

Successful meetings everyday!

Lucid Meetings

Lucid Meetings is an innovation meeting company, focussed on helping teams run successful meetings everyday. 

The Lucid Meetings team focuses on the underlying systems that make successful meetings a regular part of your organization’s culture – being agenda management reliable records. 

The organization’s educational programs also helps teams design and lead successful everyday business meetings. 

Elise Keith is the founder and CEO of Lucid Meetings and has been using GroupMap to enhance collaboration in public educational events and private training programs. 

“Lucid Meetings helps thousands of teams worldwide run successful meetings every day,” explained Elise.

“In 2020, Lucid Meetings was recognized as one of the top-10 global influencer brands on the topic of remote work and virtual meetings.” 

The search for an online collaboration tool

Elise had wanted to find an online collaboration tool to support brainstorming, sensemaking, and decision making activities for large groups. 

“The free tools I’ve used–like Google Slides or Jamboard-lack the features and power needed to make it easy for large groups to get right to work, through no fault in design because that’s not what they were built for,” commented Elise. 

“Many other visual collaboration and decision support tools require lots of setup, time during the workshop for training participants, or they don’t produce usable results you can work with later.” 

Hitting the sweet spot with a group collaboration tool 

GroupMap online collaboration tool

Elise found GroupMap when first researching online brainstorming and decision support software to integrate with Lucid Meetings platform in 2015. 

Her thorough research is well documented and initially looked at 25 tools for online brainstorming and decision making and has now been updated to 35 tools. 

“Five years later and after comparison to many, many others, GroupMap remains my favorite for most educational workshops,” said Elise. 

“In my opinion, GroupMap hits the sweet spot. Participants find it easy to use with minimal instructions, it supports the multi-step processes I need to run, and it gives me useful data afterward.” 

Using GroupMap for collaborative brainstorming courses 

Elise and the team at Lucid Meetings recently conducted a public, online event, exploring “Meeting Technology.” The event included a deep dive with Scott Wharton, the VP and General Manager of Logitech Video Collaboration. 

In this event, participants used the brainstorming functionality of GroupMap, a variation on polarities and a variation on nine windows. 

Online collaboration occurred in a GroupMap workspace that Elise had set up (see below) with three brainstorming sessions. 

Lucid Meetings GroupMap

A customisable template was used to create the three brainstorming sessions for this Lucid Meetings event – starting with a polarities exercise below. 

GroupMap online Collaboration Tool at play

This was then followed by a four and nine windows template where participants can type in their ideas, comment on others’ thoughts and also vote using the thumbs up functionality. 

Online collaboration tool with GroupMapGroupMap with Lucid Meetings

A solution for meeting facilitators 

Elise noted that the recent online event on “Meeting Technology” using GroupMap as an online tool brainstorming was well received. 

“After the event, several facilitators said they’d check it out, because it was slick.”

Elise also commented that GroupMap supported the focus on Lucid Meetings events, which are on the ideas and content, not the technology itself, 

“Most of my participants didn’t say anything about GroupMap at the event, which is actually perfect. When we use other tools, we often get many comments about either challenges they’re having, or remarks about how much work it looks like we did to set it all up.” 

“For public events, I don’t want my participants thinking and commenting about all the prep work I did, so I’m really grateful when the tech can disappear so they can do the work. I feel GroupMap achieves that.”

“In my private programs, we run a series of mini-workshops over the course of several months. GroupMap makes it easy for me to take content from an earlier session and build on it later. Brainstorms from one session turn into the content we sort and analyze in later sessions.”

“This makes it easy for everyone to see both how their ideas are evolving, but also to pick right back up from where we left off.”

As a meeting facilitator herself, Elise indicated that using GroupMap gives her access to easily harvestable and analyzable data. 

“I can also publish pretty maps, which enhance the post-event value.” 

Reporting with GroupMap

Want to try GroupMap as an online collaboration tool? 

Schedule a demo with a GroupMap team member at a day and time that suits you best or have a go of our easy to use, supported online collaboration tool for FREE for 14 days today. 

GroupMap Helps ISACA – A Global IT Summit – Turn Virtual

ISACA Virtual Event

Introducing ISACA

ISACA (pronounced “eye-SOCK-uh”) is a global, professional organization for IT audit, security, governance, risk, and privacy professionals. For more than 50 years, ISACA has equipped individuals with knowledge, credentials, education, and community to help progress their careers and transform their organizations. 

The organization has more than 145,000 members worldwide, most of whom are affiliated with a local chapter. These 220 “little versions” of ISACA are located in more than 90 countries and are run entirely by volunteers who are elected by the members of their respective chapter. 

Megan Moritz is the Director of Global Volunteer Engagement at ISACA Global, headquartered in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, USA, and oversees the teams that interact and work with all ISACA volunteers, at the chapter and global levels. 

“The chapter relations team ensures the highest level of support is provided to these individuals, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to run their respective ISACA chapter.”

The need to move to a virtual event

ISACA Global Summit A Virtual Event

Every other year, ISACA invites more than 450 chapter leaders to attend its Global Leadership Summit (GLS) to help define the strategic vision for the organization. In 2020, due to the global pandemic, the event was held virtually. 

Despite going online, ISACA’s goals for GLS remained the same:

  • make the event as interactive and as much like an in-person event as possible; 
  • obtain input from attendees;
  • ensure the most impactful ideas rose to the top; and
  • share output with ISACA’s senior leadership team and Board of Directors.

To deliver the above goals, the facilitators of the event needed a tool that would assist with the facilitation process. 

“We were looking for something that would automate a lotif not allof the processes and were also brainstorming different methods/matrices we thought would work for this particular event.”

“We wanted the tool to be highly intuitive/easy to use, secure, and web-based, so people did not need to install anything on their computer.” 

GroupMap to support ISACA’s Virtual Event

Prior to making the decision to hold GLS virtually, ISACA had already planned to use GroupMap as an effective means of capturing data and quickly collating or elevating the information as they walked tables through a facilitated process. 

The team wanted to find an effective way to collect information that was easier and faster than what had been accomplished in the past via use of flip charts, Post-It notes, scrap paper, and emails. 

“Once we knew we the event was going to take place virtually, GroupMap still made perfect sense. We know it is not limited to a virtual setting, and we are excited to use it again at a future, in-person event.”

The ISACA team requested a demo with GroupMap to explore how it could be used for digital facilitation during GLS and were immediately impressed with the functionality and flexibility of the platform. 

Successful and Engaging Virtual Global Summit 

The ISACA team attributed GroupMap’s intuitive platformfeatures that promote efficiency and accuracy, along with the organization’s personalised serviceas winning elements to support ISACA’s first-ever virtual Global Leadership Summit (that was held in August 2020). 

Over 80 easy to use and customizable templates

“From the beginning, we knew we wanted to use the SOAR matrix, but after Jeremy shared all the other options, we started to think about how we could use two different matrices to achieve an even more impressive end result.” 

“We also thought, after three days of being in the SOAR matrix, people would be ready to move onto something different.”

The team used the How/Now/Wow matrix for the last two days of the virtual event, and found it to be just as user-friendly and intuitive as the SOAR matrix. 


Download report in one click 

“The most impressive part of GroupMap came with all the report functionality. We were able to generate what we needed so quickly and efficiently, it was mind-boggling.”

Their team indicated that, from a feature perspective, GroupMap’s reporting capability was their favourite. 

Share Results GroupMap Virtual Event

Personalized and helpful service 

“The willingness of the GroupMap team to guide us through things, answer questionssometimes repeatedlyand take calls at odd hours, given that one facilitator was in Chicago and the other in Hawaii, was extraordinary.”

“But the most exceptional aspect of the experience was how the GroupMap team truly wanted to understand the entire process. They wanted to make sure GroupMap was not just a tool we used, but an experience people would remember. It was awesome!”


Strategic Results for ISACA

ISACA Global Summit

The team commented that having GroupMap as a digital facilitation tool meant the meeting facilitators could focus on preparing and running the virtual event. In addition, attendees knew the data they entered was going to be immediately visible. This saved everyone involved an immense amount of time and work after the event concluded. 

“Instead of requesting information via email, pestering people with reminders, and worrying about people forgetting to do things, we had all the data we needed as soon as the event concluded. The participants could see and feel that, as well, which made for a very powerful conclusion.”

GroupMap’s easily downloadable report feature meant that the 475 attendees of the virtual summit were able to develop and provide the senior leadership team and Board of Directors with detailed action plans for nine key initiatives.

“These important plans will be crucial information used by the ISACA Board of Directors during their strategic planning session on 21-22 September 2020.”

“Details of which action plans/strategic items were included in both the short- and longer-term planning will be shared during a GLS follow-up session in Q4 2020, to which all GLS participants will be invited.”

Want to try GroupMap as your virtual event solution? 

Schedule a demo with a GroupMap team member at a day and time that suits you best or have a go of our easy to use, supported online collaboration tool for FREE for 14 days today.