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Elevate Client Engagement and Deliver High-impact Consulting Solutions with Tags

Written by 
Morgan Kozol
 and 
  —  
April 14, 2022

We’re excited to announce a new way to elevate client collaboration and engagement with MURAL: tags for sticky notes!

Tags are customizable labels that make it easy to find, organize, and categorize your work, drive stronger alignment, and prioritize potential solutions — visually. Tags can be text only or text and an icon, and color coded to fit your needs. You can search and filter by tags to find the associated sticky notes you need in the moment, or export tags to CSV for further spreadsheet analysis at a later time.

Tags can be accessed by clicking on a sticky note and selecting the new tags icon from the sticky note toolbar.

The value of tags comes from the additional layers of organization and structure they provide within your mural to visually surface patterns and trends. These patterns unlock deeper levels of meaning and synthesis in your work to help turn client ideas and insights from possibility to reality.

Next, we’ll show you how to leverage tags in every stage of your clients’ journey — from workshops all the way to retrospectives — to uncover trends, drive stronger cross-functional alignment, and deliver high-impact solutions. We’ve also included some templates to help you get started!

Tags for facilitating brainstorming and strategy workshops

So, you’ve just been assigned a new project at work — let’s say developing a strategy to help your client successfully launch a new product offering to the market. You start to think of all the interviews and research you’ll need to do and stakeholders you’ll need to consult, and ask yourself, “how might we accomplish this?”

Using MURAL to facilitate client brainstorming and strategy workshops is a great way to collect ideas and new perspectives to answer that very question. In our current world of asynchronous, hybrid work, it’s never been more critical to ensure everyone’s ideas are heard and captured. One of the challenges consultant facilitators face, however, is not only organizing ideas from many collaborators at once, but also synthesizing the information and connecting the dots between ideas that may exist disparately across the mural post workshop. Sure, you could use color-coded sticky notes and try to keep them clustered together to create categories, but you need something more. Enter, tags.

To help keep your workshops structured and less chaotic, try setting up blocks of blank “template” sticky notes with pre-built tags prior to your workshop. For example: The tags could be categories for ideas that only fall within the scope of your client’s decision-making criteria. When the workshop kicks off, participants are limited to adding their ideas to these predefined categories — cutting down on noise and wasted brainpower.

Post workshop, when all ideas have been captured, you can retroactively add tags to sticky notes to ensure no great ideas get lost. If sticky notes were moved around the mural, the Find panel at the right of the top bar will surface all the sticky notes that share the same tag.

Now you’re ready to start prioritizing the ideas. Try applying tags like “Must have” or “Favorite” to the ideas you think are best. In the Find panel from the top bar, try filtering on only the 'Must have' tag. To cluster these together easily, drag your mouse while holding SHIFT to highlight all the sticky notes on the mural. You’ll see that only the sticky notes with the 'Must have' tag are actually included, so you can quickly arrange them into a row or grid and move them to their own section on the mural, leaving the rest of the ideas right where they are.  

By looking at these ideas first, you can start to uncover important trends and patterns to better understand your client’s needs, and prioritize them to formulate a high-impact business proposal that will satisfy client expectations.

If you’re a consultant that loves working in spreadsheets, then we have great news for you! Sticky notes with tags can be exported to CSV for further analysis and synthesis outside of MURAL. You can filter, pivot, and report on tag usage for data-driven insights in client presentations or retrospectives, for example.

We’ve updated some of our favorite brainstorming and prioritization templates with tags so you can get the ideas flowing quickly. Try out 2x2 Prioritization Matrix, Workshop Toolkit, or Idea Prioritization.

Tags for creating and managing a plan of action

When you’ve finished leveling-out all client priorities, you’re ready to create a plan of action and kick off work. Tags can help keep your planning structured and organized so work moves forward quickly for the client.

While designing your plan of action, create sticky notes of to-do items and add the following tags: 

  • Statuses for tasks: “Not started”, “In progress”, “Delayed”, “Blocked”, “Complete”. Color coding and icons are great ways to visually surface status, and add some colorful personalization to your mural. You can make “Blocked” red, “Complete” green, and so on. 
  • Priorities for tasks: “High”, “Medium”, “Low”, “Blocker”, “Not a blocker”. Group similar high priority tasks together, so you can focus on prioritizing and delivering these first, while saving lower priority items for later.
  • Due dates for tasks: Tag sticky notes with due dates so it’s clear when a task should be completed. 

Tags are completely customizable, so as work progresses towards completion, you can change the tag from “In progress” to “Complete”. They’re also a great visual aid for engaging with client leadership during progress check-ins, as they provide a quick visual snapshot of what’s completed, what remains blocked, and what’s high priority that you’re working to deliver first. This is key to making sure you’re aligned on timelines and not overlooking any important dates the client has prioritized for delivery.

We’ve updated one of our favorite planning templates with tags to help you manage your work to stay on track with client expectations and timelines. Try out Kanban board.

Tags for maintaining stakeholder alignment and coordination

Keeping internal and external stakeholders aligned throughout your project’s life cycle is critical — whether you’re working together in real-time or asynchronously across time zones. Tags can help here too, by visually surfacing approval status and owners so there’s no disconnect about who owns what and where it stands with the delivery date approaching. Each team or owner can report on progress during check-ins or alignment sessions.

On your plan of action, try creating the following tags:

  • Assign owners: Tags can be created for individual owners or teams that own a task or workflow, “Client” or “Consultant”, for example. 
  • Assign statuses to proposed solutions: If you have to pitch multiple solutions to a client, using tags like “Approved” or “Under review” will make it clear what the client has approved so everyone remains on the same page. Try making Approved green with a thumbs up symbol to add some fun personalization.
We’ve updated one of our favorite alignment and coordination templates with tags so stakeholders have insight into status and ownership. Try out Fit-to-Standard Workshop

Tags for synthesizing retrospective feedback

Throughout the course of the project, and after it’s been delivered, conducting  retrospectives is a great way to keep internal and external stakeholders engaged and aligned. Maybe something didn’t run as smoothly as planned, or you hit a couple roadblocks along the way. Tags can help group similar feedback together, so you can identify key trends and items to focus on and prioritize, in order to make sure that the next project with the client runs smoothly. 

Before you kick off the retrospective, set up blocks of template sticky notes with tags like “Worked well”, “Didn’t work well”, “Should do” and “Didn’t do”. During the retrospective, stakeholders can easily grab a sticky note and add their thoughts into those predefined categories. 

Try grouping the tags that didn’t work well together, and talk about ways to solve these problems with your clients going forward. And don’t forget to group everything that did work well together to foster strong client/stakeholder satisfaction and relationship building along the way! We suggest exporting these sticky notes as a PDF/PNG to be shared and celebrated with the team or used in presentations to leadership.

We’ve updated one of our favorite retrospective templates with tags so you and your team can celebrate the wins and synthesize the feedback. Try out I like, I wish, I wonder.

You can learn more about using tags by checking out our help article

About the author

About the authors

Morgan Kozol

Senior Product Marketing Manager @ MURAL with a passion for all things visual. A Seattle native, you can usually find her backpacking or searching for the perfect taco.