Design

5 Quick Tips to Move Ideas from Discussion to Production

If you’ve been talking about a particular need or an idea for a while, and you just can’t seem to get any traction on it, here are five quick tips to get everyone in the room and move the idea from discussion to production.

5. Write Down & Draw Ideas

This helps people who aren’t as vocal in the discussion have some dedicated time to express their ideas on paper. Formally presenting these written (or illustrated) ideas gives everyone equal ground in the room.

4. Create a “Dotmocracy” for Ideas

Like a democracy, but with dots! Vote on the most resonant written ideas with colored dot stickers. Now isn’t the time for discussion. This should be a mostly silent exercise, where ideas (or parts of ideas) are being marked for further exploration by the stakeholders in the room. The dots are important, because they create a visual heat map of the ideas that have traction.

3. Focus on a Common Goal

When you’re discussing a problem, everyone should have the same goa in mind. There are a lot of exercises that can help define the goal. Often, we use a combination of “How Might We…” notes and refine those with dotmocracy voting. Defining the goal is highly important. The goal needs to be written down and visible, so that it can be referred to throughout the process. It keeps everyone on track. Ideas and discussion stay relevant to the goal.

2. Have a “Final Word” Decision Maker

Everyone with a stake in the project should present ideas, vote, and be heard, but there still needs to be a sole decision maker in the room. They’ll be responsible for making sure that decisions are made that keep the project moving forward.

1. Test & Get Rapid Feedback on Ideas

Execute the idea in some way – an outline, an illustration, or maybe just a description – and get feedback from potential users or coworkers. Consider this a “sanity check,” to ensure that the concept makes clear sense outside of your own brain.

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