To understand a problem, a great initial step is to get the widest range of stakeholders as you can in a room to discuss the problem and potential solutions. This methodology is called co-design. It works great in a workshop setting when you:
Don't fully understand the problem or opportunity
Don't understand the problem from other people's perspectives
Unsure where other stakeholders would fit into a solution
Are exploring ideas
During a workshop we will often present ideas, ask large questions, and spark ideas to support effective conversations and keep the topic on track.
Workshops are used extensively in the early design phases. Pitching an idea to a room, and receiving verbal feedback is fast, and cheap. It ensures obvious problems or opportunities are caught early by exposing them to a wide range of diverse perspectives.
Many of our best ideas and opportunities have come out of co-design workshops, ideas we would have never considered by ourselves. In short, "you don't know, what you don't know".