Come Together, Right Now

February 27, 2009

in design,innovate

Soda is good for the soul...which is debatable.

Soda is good for the soul...which is debatable.

This year it seems we are going to have to do more with less and symbiosis of design and dev teams is crucial. I am actually glad to see this opportunity come about. Waterfall and agile processes alike can benefit from joining forces to engage early and spark creativity. But, before you book that first team brainstorm, make sure executives and/or stakeholders are invited to participate. Then pick a neutral personality on your team to act as a facilitator, who runs the session and guides thoughtful conversations for optimal results. If you plan to whiteboard ideas, give everyone a marker, so each person feels empowered to contribute. Having cookies, soda, pizza, whatever treats your company likes, aids in keeping the meeting informal and boosts the collective mood. Sugar highs are just… fun. Lastly, make sure a few ground rules are set in place. My personal favorite is ‘no idea or conversation killers’. Statements like, “That definitely won’t scale” or “This has no monetization potential”, have been allowed to blast enthusiasm and fry the ideation process for far too long.

The ultimate goal for meetings like this is not so much all the actionable ideas that come out of it (even though that would be great), it’s the early buy-in and team cohesion that is really priceless.

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