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. 

soar-analysis

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.

GroupMap Open Space Virtual Methodology

groupmap open space live session

Introducing TFK Consulting  

Thomas Krecker of TK Consulting

TFK Consulting is a group coaching and changing advisers based in Hamburg, Germany, who provide their service via virtual workshops, digital facilitations and face-to-face meetings or events. 

Thomas Krecker is the Principal Consultant who has had extensive experience as an events manager and conference organizer. Thomas believes in the power of technology to help deliver a more sustainable, accessible and engaging event. 

He has been working with digital tools for team building since 1995, using them for online and offline facilitating. 

Thomas also co-creates and co-facilitate online workshops for consultants across various industries and disciplines, who want to continue with their existing service offerings and methodology without going too deep into the online world. 

“Good coaching is not reserved for companies and executives. Much of the technology used today in business… can, of course, be used for all human issues, regardless of the environment in which we are located.” 

Challenges with offline Open Space 

Having run many conferences, events and conducting coaching sessions for businesses and companies around the world, Thomas saw the increased importance of new methodologies.

The challenge Thomas saw when conducting traditional conferences face-to-face are:

    • They can be dysfunctional. Studies, including that by University of Utrecht (Stroebe, 2010) show that brainstorming in groups is less effective than thinking for yourself. Continued interruption, group dynamics, hierarchy, extroverted vs less extroverted leaders were some of the main reasons found that can block free thinking!
    • They can be inaccessible. Face to face events are expensive to run and have a time resource effect as well. This can influence attendees’ ability to attend and participate.
    • They can be admin heavy. Most of the breakout and workshop sessions still use flipcharts, pinboards and needles to capture feedback. This often needed to be typed up, transcribed, and translated – a heavy time investment.
    • They do not meet the demands of modern agile Teams

“In 2014, we wanted to program our own solution for better meetings. Since then I have been permanently screening the market for a solution.”

As a solution they combined the Open Space meeting methodology with the advantages of digital facilitation using GroupMap, tablets and beamer instead of pinboards and flipchart, creating instant anonymity, silent work and inspiration, exactly as the participants needed.

GroupMap Open Work Space on tablets

Open Space – often called Barcamp or a non-conference – is participant driven and less organizer-convener-driven. Participants would decide about the conference agenda themselves and are also free to join or leave every conference session, depending on what interests them most.

The next challenge was, to bring this format into the online world.

This process was driven by the conviction that the so-called “new normal” in workshops and team development will need to be a mixture of online and offline meetings. The latter was to be run based on a needs capacity, and as appropriate to the teams’ priorities, such as sustainability, time and money considerations. 

GroupMap Open Space as a solution 

“It turned out that transferring an Open Space into online using GroupMap was much easier than expected.”  

GroupMap Open Work Space Information Booth

Thomas and his team synchronized individual Zoom meetings with GroupMap by pinning the meeting address on the related map.  Each map was then turned into online “rooms” each with a descriptive image that made it feel like you were physically somewhere!

GroupMap Open Space by TK Consulting

For example, the “Foyer” was used not only as the first point of welcome or entrance to the “GroupMap Open Space” but also a teaser practice for writing on a map. Meanwhile the bar and the information counter became easy points for participants to return, get help or just chat outside the other sessions. 

GroupMap Open Work Space Foyer      GroupMap Open Work Space Bar

Being able to enter the rooms without a host’s permission lets you stroll through and join the sessions as you would like – similar to if it was a face to face event. 

“The experience and the idea of room matters a lot to the human brain. It gives orientation, security and inspiration. It adds “a feel” to the screen.” 

Virtual Open Space is a hit! 

According to Thomas, the “GroupMap Open Space” style is one of the most successful formats he has run.

“One of the major advantages of is the simplicity and the Pinboard look and feel. Especially in online workshops, where same participants are still stressed and get sidetracked by technical issues, the simplicity cannot be overrated.” 

GroupMap Open Work Space Activity

Through GroupMap Open Space conference can be successfully run through combining the use of features such as:

    • The ability to create your own maps – GroupMap’s self customized template options allowed Thomas to transform many existing methodologies – such as many of the liberating structures, root cause analysis, ZRM (picture based resource evaluation), Ishikawa and many more – into the GroupMap templates. 
    • Rating functionality – the ability to rate in different dimensions for brainstorming sessions help to define and weigh each idea in the brainstorming session. 
    • Automatic reporting the ability to have all the information from every session downloadable, without having to transcribe and type up – is a time and resource saving. 
    • Create new maps and workspaces instantlythe ability to create new maps, add new workspaces and sessions while participants are working in other maps allowed for a very agile and responsive way of delivering conferences. 

Session Board Example

GroupMap build teams and encourages brainstorming 

“GroupMap is the core of team building and brainstorming for our customers, like Google or Microsoft is the core for the standard processes.”  

Thomas indicated that the feedback on “GroupMap Open Space” has been predominantly very good, with most participants being impressed by the speed and the platform’s ability to create a real “group feeling” online. 

“The best feedback I heard was from a group of 35 consultants who ended up using a GroupMap Open Space as a substitute for a personal meeting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They had doubts that a virtual open space would work. In the end, they came out with better and more results than in any physical meeting before.” 

Want to try GroupMap for your next online meeting? 

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. 

Virtual Executive Event with GroupMap- from analogue to digital in 3 days

telescope-advisers

david-clarke-virtual-event-facilitator

Executive events for fast-growth companies 

Telescope Advisers is a management consultancy based in Georgia, Atlanta, with a focus on creating value and impact for fast-growth companies. Since 2000, its principal consultant, David Clark, has helped businesses and organisations around the world to bring clarity, focus and alignment. 

David outlined some of key highlights of Telescope Advisers’ work: 

  • A five year strategy for a $150m extension of the North Carolina state health system;
  • Business planning and strategies for implementation for Habitat for Humanity’s world-wide country programs, which became the most requested service by the organisation.

To deliver these results, Telescope Adviser would conduct management workshops, executive events and retreats. 

“Telescope Adviser’s retreats typically involve plenary sessions before breaking into smaller workshop groups for brainstorming and detailed discussions, captured on white boards or flip charts that will then need to be recorded or transcribed” said David. 

 

Pandemic pushed for executive event to go virtual

David had planned, months in advance, for a four day executive event involving participants from Australia, South Africa and multiple cities across the U.S. 

However, the Friday before the event was due to begin, countries, including the U.S. imposed immediate travel restrictions as part of their COVID-19 plans.

“Obviously a face to face meeting became impossible and waiting for things to improve before holding the retreat was also not an option because it would have significantly impacted the project schedule of the organisation we were working with,” explained David. 

It was decided by all stakeholders involved that the event should go ahead and be delivered in a virtual executive event format. 

“Everyone agreed on videoconferencing to deliver the event, and Zoom was an obvious choice, but the question remained on how do we manage virtual collaborative discussions and decision making process?”  

 

Creating a global virtual executive event in 3 days & counting

On the same Friday that domestic and international travel were being grounded almost worldwide, David began a frantic search for an online tool that could support virtual executive meetings and events, allow for online collaboration and is easy for everyone – with different levels of technology competence – can use. 

David recalled that his search generated many options but many were discounted because they were either too confusing to set up or complicated to use. 

“Time was ticking before the virtual executive event was meant to start on the Monday, before I recalled reading about an online brainstorming tool called GroupMap in a blogpost,” said David.

“A quick Google search, a read on the GroupMap website and an intuitive quick demo personally from its CEO, Jeremy Lu, convinced me that this is the most suitable and supported tool to run my first virtual executive event.” 

GroupMap’s features of 60 brainstorming and decision making templates (called Maps) that can be easily customised, the ability to create own maps to align with Telescope Adviser’s objectives, expectations or preferred formats were big ticks for David. 

“I was completely sold on the software and when I presented my proposal to the stakeholders, they were happy to proceed virtually on the Monday using Zoom and GroupMap,” said David.

 

GroupMap the right choice for virtual events!

“As soon as the virtual executive event kicked off on Monday, I knew we had made the right choice by using GroupMap,” David commented. 

As team breakouts occurred after the plenary session, participants started using GroupMap for brainstorming. 

voting-virtual-event
GroupMap for voting on ideas

These GroupMap features helped kept the participants on track and importantly, engaged:

  • Ability to create Workspaces by group and day and controlling access so that participants will only be able to access the maps for each workshop. This ensured everybody was on the same page for each of the virtual workshops, eliminating any confusion. 
  • Ease of use for sharing and voting that allowed all participants to input their ideas, comments, suggestions individually or collaboratively before proceeding to online voting and deciding on actions.
  • Facilitator’s ability to customise the process in GroupMap on the fly, including when participants were busy with digital brainstorming and input into the maps, so that it is possible to quickly pivot based on the situation or discussions on the day.
  • All inputs captured automatically, so there was no need to manually record information or to be concerned about not capturing an idea or losing notes. 
  • Sorting functionality made it easier for representatives of each group to use reports of prioritised ideas, actions, timelines to present when the virtual plenary session resumed.

Benefits of digital facilitation fully realised

“GroupMap literally salvaged our virtual executive global event. We would not have been able to have our workshop nor accomplished as much without this tool,” said David. 

soar-analysis-virtual-event
GroupMap’s SOAR Analysis Template

The flexible and customisable capabilities of GroupMap allowed David to run a number of proven approaches, normally done face to face, delivered online effectively. Some of these include:

  • SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results) Analysis
  • ESVP (Explorer, Shopper, Vacationer, or Prisoner) Retrospectives
  • Purpose Retrospectives
  • Understanding and Defining Purpose
  • Pitch a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
  • Impact on ideas
  • Core competencies

Using GroupMap also showed participants of the many positive benefits of digital facilitation:

  • Cost savings – As is expected with face-to-face events, there is considerable commitment of time and resources required prior and during the events. The booking of venues, travel, physical equipment hire – all adds up – and can be significantly reduced virtually.
  • Time savings – GroupMap’s automatic recording of ideas and discussions means no more hours of transcribing required!
  • Accessibility For organisations with tight travel budgets or resource constraints, GroupMap is a must-have for all virtual meetings. 

“We have always envisioned a world connected through technology. Now we know it has arrived and we are ready for this new era with empowering online tools such as GroupMap” said David.

“Next up for me is to use the software for a whole workshop and stop playing around with sticky notes. I am now a big fan of GroupMap.”

 

Want to try GroupMap for FREE? 

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.