Recipe for Leading a Remote Brainstorm
A step-by-step guide to whipping up ideas for product improvements Nothing satisfies a craving for product improvements like a delicious, thoughtful brainstorm. My team typically used to prepare this workplace classic in person. But after Indeed suddenly went remote, I created this new recipe that’s conference-room free. Follow the steps below to help your team come up with ideas and pick which ones to build. Enjoy! Prep time: 60 minutesCook time: Two 90-minute videoconference sessions (I like to split them up over two days)Yield: 6 to 10 tasty ideas 8 to 12 participants 2 to 5 user pain points 1 user journey map or story 1 online timer 1 Google Jamboard jam or another digital collaboration tool for collecting ideas 1 prioritization matrix in Figma or another design program 2 monitors to make facilitation easier for you (optional) Step 1: Gather pain points With the help of the appropriate team leaders, collect user pain points. These should be informed by UX research, data, and user feedback. Choose a few to focus on for the brainstorming session. A hypothetical pain point: Customers don’t trust the security of the payment process and abandon their transactions Step 2: Turn your pain points into problem statements Problem statements help clarify the problem you’re trying to solve and identify its root cause. They also help you understand the underlying emotions behind the pain points. Here’s a template: I’m _________________ [user, with 2 to 3 characteristics].I’m trying to _________________ [outcome or job], but _________________ [problem or barrier] because _________________ [root cause], which makes me feel _________________ [emotion]. Example problem statement: I’m a comic book collector who shops online frequently but has limited funds. I’m trying to purchase items from my favorite artist, but I give up on my purchase because the form is long and ugly, which makes me feel like it’s not secure and I might get scammed. Step 3: Prep the team Send out invitations for the two sessions. Let everyone know in advance that they’ll be presenting their ideas to the group. This gives people who don’t enjoy speaking in front of groups time to prepare themselves for their moment in the spotlight. Step 4: Prep the room, aka the Jamboard jam Set up the virtual space with everything the participants will need, just like you would for an in-person brainstorming session. I prefer Jamboard because it’s simple to use and anyone with a Google account has free access. Create a welcome frame that prepares participants for the sessions Write out the agenda and participation guidelines Supportive notes can help teammates feel comfortable expressing any kind of idea Create a separate frame for each teammate to use Create a small voting chip image and add three to each person’s frame (I’ve included one you can use in this Figma template) Give edit access to all participants Step 5: Get yourself set up It’s optional, but I like to use 2 monitors while facilitating. I share one of them continuously to lead the discussion. I use the other to privately view my agenda, » Read More
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