Creative Thinking Tools Design Thinking Teams

Team rotation methods

Let­ters are peo­ple in teams, #num­bers are projects and cir­cles are tables/work areas

Three Stage Q&A Rotation

In this mod­el teams rotate around projects in a two-step process illus­trat­ed in the dia­gram above. As the teams come to a nat­ur­al ebb and the facil­i­ta­tors feel it is time to reen­er­gize the group, each team (fig. 1) is giv­en 2–5 min­utes to solid­i­fy their nar­ra­tives. Once the time lim­it has been reached half of each team moves to the next project, leav­ing half behind to inform the next team (fig. 2).

This cross over should hap­pen quick­ly as to pre­vent any break in con­cen­tra­tion. Each project table should now have half of the team who have been work­ing on the project and half of the team who will be tak­ing over the project. They are now giv­en a few min­utes (less than 5) to explain their efforts and to ask ques­tions of each oth­er. As soon as the time lim­it is reached the teams are reunit­ed on their new project (Fig. 3). In oth­er words each team as moved over, clock­wise, one project.

Again this cross over should hap­pen quick­ly. Once set­tled each team is giv­en a few min­utes for those who have just joined the project to be briefed by those there since step two in the process. It is nec­es­sary to call time on these brief­in­gs and refo­cus the group to con­tin­ue with the stage in the process they are at ie. Con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing.

Present Q&A—Rotation

Each team presents their con­cepts fol­lowed by a brief Q&A from all of the oth­er par­tic­i­pants. Pre­sen­ta­tions should be kept below a max­i­mum of 5 min­utes with Q&A also being kept to only a few min­utes. Once all of the pre­sen­ta­tions are com­plete each team rotates clock­wise one project table. Once relo­cat­ed the group are give 5 min­utes to dis­cuss what they have received before refo­cus­ing and con­tin­u­ing with the cur­rent stage of the process.

The dis­ad­van­tage of this type of rota­tion is it takes up so much time and breaks the flow of the process. There­fore it is best reserved for switch­ing between phas­es of the process ie. Tran­si­tion­ing from the Inspire phase to Con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing. This way, pre­sen­ta­tions can be used as a tool for caus­ing a real break in flow and as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to set the stage for the next step I the process.

Clap­ping and cheer­ing is an unnec­es­sary part of the process that adds to the time tak­en but also ads, pres­sure, emo­tion and expec­ta­tion to a process that is ini­tial­ly dif­fi­cult enough for the par­tic­i­pants. The group quick­ly gets used to no applause and pre­sen­ta­tions become much more relaxed as a result. When the time comes for final pre­sen­ta­tions and project close applause is rein­tro­duced, mark­ing the end of the process.