Business AI Explore Workshop

Identify AI use cases with business impact.

This workshop aims to help you identify business challenges and opportunities that can be addressed using Artificial Intelligence (AI). With the help of opportunity cards, you will brainstorm various use case ideas, describe the most relevant ones, and then compare them to decide which ideas to pursue further.

GOAL

Identify AI use case ideas based on business needs

PARTICIPANTS

3 - 10 department leads from business, IT, project sponsors and AI experts

DURATION

1 hour introduction + 1 day face-to-face or 2 half-days virtual (also possible as 3-hour version)

PHASE

Explore

Before You Start

Host an introductory session on Business AI
Host a 60 – 90 min session prior to the workshop to introduce participants to AI and show them how it can be beneficial in a business context.
Select a business area to focus on
To ensure the right set of attendees at the workshop, pre-select relevant business areas or departments. Consult with the customer to identify which sectors would benefit the most from the technology. This discussion can take place during the introductory session or in distinct meetings with the customer.

Materials you will need

Templates for Download

Download All Templates

Templates for Virtual Collaboration

(Registration to MURAL is required)

Steps

The following steps are meant to guide you through the exercises of the workshop. For more detailed instructions and recommendations, as well as a description of the 3-hour mini-workshop format, download the Explore Workshop Guide.

  • 90 min

Getting started

Start the session by covering the following points:

Topic, agenda, and rules (10 min)
Participants get introduced to agenda and purpose of the session. Indicate general behaviour rules such as: be on time, stay focused, contribute actively, etc.
Participants’ introduction (15 – 20 min)
Participants write their name, role, motivations and expectations for the session, as well as experiences and concerns related to AI, on a sticky note and use it to present themselves to the team.
Inspiration: Introduction to Business AI (30 min)
Explain what AI is and how it can be used in business. Use examples and demos of existing solutions (see demo example by SAP: https://url.sap/qdpse3)
Introduction to the opportunity cards (20 min)
Explain the opportunity cards to the participants and answer their questions. Each card explains an opportunity Gen AI opens up based on its capabilities.
Explain the homework (10 min)
Send participants homework to prepare for the next session (see next step)

Conduct this entire section in a separate (virtual) session prior to the workshop. Use the Mural board provided.

  • Variable

Homework

Ask participants to:
Collect areas for improvement
Ask participants to think about: “What processes and activities in your business area need to be improved and why?”. For each activity or process they should include include:

  • What process or activity needs to improve?
  • Why does it need to improve?
  • Who is mainly affected? (roles)

They should write down their ideas and bring them to the follow-up session. Ideally, participants can also send their ideas in advance. To ease the formulation, you can send the participants the Existing Challenge Description as PDF form to write their answers and print the filled-in templates before the workshop.

Get familiar with business AI opportunities and limitations
Ask participants to read the opportunity cards and think about scenarios showing how the AI capabilities mentioned in those cards could help to address challenging processes and activities.

  • 30 min

Identify areas for improvement

Participants share the existing challenges that they prepared as homework and place these on a whiteboard. If the homework was not prepared in advance, take 5 – 8 minutes to let participants write the existing challenges. Use the Existing Challenge Description template to ease the formulation. Help participants discard duplicate ideas as they share.

See example

Don’t combine the challenges in large groups. Try to keep them at a granular level and only discard duplicates or combine very similar ideas together.

  • 85 min

Explore Opportunities

Make sure each breakout team has a set of the opportunity cards available.

Select relevant AI opportunities (30 min)
Using the set of AI opportunities, ask participants to select the 3 most relevant AI opportunities for their businesses. You can use dot-voting or select through an open discussion. Participants should think about which opportunities could be most beneficial to improve the processes and activities mentioned earlier. If needed, participants can first map the processes and activities to the opportunities that could address them to visualize the most relevant ones. Processes and activities that benefit from capabilities in different cards can be duplicated. Not every process and activity has to be mapped. Stand-alone activities and processes might indicate that they are not suitable to be solved with AI capabilities
Imagine scenarios with AI (15 min)
Ask participants to silently write down scenarios for each of the selected cards, explaining how AI can be used to address the activities and processes mapped to those cards. They can use the Scenario Sentence Template. Provide participants with enough scenario sentence templates. Participants have 5 minutes per card to write as many scenarios as possible and can use the example scenarios on the cards as reference and inspiration. You can have each participant focus on a different card and then rotate the cards after the 5 minutes, or have all participants focus on the same card at once
Share out and combine (40 min)
Have each participant share the scenario ideas or sentences and discard duplicate ideas as they share. Then, ask participants to check which scenarios can be combined in one solution. Ideas with the same or related beneficiary and similar objective could fit well together, but not all scenarios have to be combined. Finally, give descriptive names to the combined scenarios. Use the last 5 minutes to vote for the scenarios participants find most valuable and select the top 3.

See examples

Don’t combine too many scenarios in one solution. Try to keep them at a granular level and only discard duplicates or combine very similar ideas together.

  • 75 - 110 min

Define use case ideas

Have participants describe each idea cluster selected in detail using the Use Case Brief. The Use Case Brief includes three views: business, technical, and ethical. Start with the business view.
The technical view will work best if you have representatives from the implementation team who know which data can be useful and what the limitations of the technology are.
When filling in the technical view, use the Gen AI Limitation Cards to help participants identify limitations that could affect the use case.

See example

Distribute the Use Case Briefs among the participants to save time and have a share-out afterwards. (e.g. each pair is responsible to complete the details for one use case idea)

Use the Use Case Brief PDF Form to document your use cases digitally after the workshop.

  • 50 min

Compare and prioritize

If you had more than one team working in paralell, bring all participants together and have them share their Use Case Briefs with the group. Then, position the Use Case Briefs or the use case names in a Value Heatmap relative to each other, based on agreed criteria (e.g. Business Value and Complexity). Discuss the position of the ideas in the Value Heatmap as a team and decide which use case(s) should be tackled first based on their business value and complexity.

See example

Prefer use cases that are not too complex to realize, but provide high business value to move to the next steps.

  • 20 min

Next steps

In a team discussion decide for 4 – 5 action items to follow-up from this session. Indicate what needs to be done, until when and who will be responsible.
If a use case has not been selected yet, agree on a follow-up session to decide on the use case to move forward with, and ensure commitment of the team to continue.

A possible next step could be a scoping workshop to narrow down the use case or a discover/design workshop to detail out the content for the use case with end users.

You’re done!

Congratulations! You have now a clearer idea of what AI can be used for and have a selection of potential use cases that can benefit from this technology.
You can now analyze how those potential projects fit within the overall strategy of your company. Once you have selected a use case to work on, continue with the methods of the Discover phase.

Your voice matters!

Have you tried out this method? We’d love to learn about your experiences, feedback, and ideas.