Inception & Design Workshop Guide

June 14, 2018by Monica Westbrook

Inception & Design Workshop Purpose

The purpose of the Inception and Design Workshop is to identify business objectives, define success factors, pain points and risks in a CPQ implementation. This is accomplished primarily through use cases created by participants during the workshop.

The Inception & Design Workshop best practices outlined below have been identified by aMind’s consultants during the course of more than 80 CPQ implementations. Keep reading to see what you should expect when you engage with our implementation experts.

Key Participants

One of the most important success factors in the workshop is to include the right participants. Key participants include sponsors at the top 1-3 levels, change agents, targets and other stakeholders. It is important to include input from Directors or Manager level representatives from each impacted group.

Attendees from the sales organization should be well represented and include a mix of operations and frontline sales employees.

Including VP level attendees isn’t necessary. In fact, VP titles should only be included if they are willing to be active participants. Success depends on participants remaining active for the entire workshop, not just popping in and out. If this is not possible, replace them with another participant.


Ideally the Inception & Design Workshop will be conducted on-site. Face-to-face meetings foster better engagement, drive deeper discussions and minimize distractions. Instant feedback and improved communication through body language encourage participation and lead to better results. For global sales organizations, you may have to have some people join by phone/online.


1-2 Days. Before we begin, we establish clearly defined outcomes to keep the workshop to a manageable length. After all, participants have jobs to get back to, deals to close, inventory to manage.


The kickoff is conducted by an executive sponsor and your aMind leader. It covers the importance of the workshop to the critical nature of CPQ, participant expectations, and final deliverables.

Participants are asked to introduce themselves and their role in the organization. Any participants on the phone will be included as well.

Ice Breaker – 30 mins.
Plenty of options for this. Although it always seems silly, icebreakers really help to get the group working together.

Art of the Possible Demo
The possibilities of CPQ are presented in a demo that has been prepared in advance. The demo is as relevant as possible to the objectives as they are understood before this workshop. Showing more is always better. It is at this point that you want every participant to make the connection between the software and their roles and responsibilities in the organization.

Break– 10 mins.

Team Breakout 1-2 hrs.
This breakout is key to preparing use cases. Before the group is sent off on their own, your aMind leader will review the elements of a use case and provide examples and a format template as well. Participants will be asked to provide:

  • The change/business benefit
  • Impacted groups
  • Level of effort: low hanging fruit …
  • Sponsor leader
  • Owner (this is someone present in the workshop)

A scribe and a spokesperson will be identified to present at the end of the breakout session.

Team Activity
Participants are asked to brainstorm ideas for use cases based on their expertise. The scribe documents these on a wall tablet.

Readout From Teams– 1 hour
During the readout portion of the workshop, the spokesperson from each team reviews the final list of use cases, identifying impacted groups, sponsor leaders, owners and the level of effort. Your aMind leader will map these into a quadrant that identifies low-hanging fruit, medium effort, high effort and fool’s gold.


The final portion of the workshop is a presentation to executives and stakeholders. In this portion your aMind leader reviews current vs. future state with the high level, transformation changes highlighted. A definition of success and project scope is presented as well as a target timeframe and realistic milestones.

As you can see, the Inception & Design Workshop is a key component to CPQ success. One that remains at the core of aMind’s track record of 100% customer satisfaction.