In class last week we moved from the exploration stage (Discover) to the Definition stage. Our group worked really well together, and we were able to easily lump our ideas together under four bigger definitions of the problems that Comcast faces currently. I am excited about the future of our project, the problem areas we defined in class offer a lot of room for creativity in the ideation stage.
It was helpful to make the definition process as visual as possible. Color-coding our ideas with sticky notes allowed each group member to contribute and for our team to have a balanced conversation. The opportunity to physically move ideas around on the board made it much easier to organize our thoughts. Once we had individually brainstormed, we began to categorize our ideas. We moved our stickies into different parts of the whiteboard to distinguish between potential ideas for innovation, conceptual problems versus tangible problems, and discarded the ideas that were irrelevant and too broad.
While I did appreciate aspects of the individual brainstorming process, I work better when I’m able to talk through my ideas in a small group. This may be an individual preference, but I think others might also enjoy working together to correctly articulate an idea. In the process of Defining, using precise language is essential, and I find it easier to come up with the correct wording and language when speaking with others. We did sort of have an opportunity to do this when we came together to categorize and further develop our “how might we…” statements, but I would have found a short group brainstorming opportunity to “talk it out” very helpful.
I think that Define may be the most important step of this process, because reaching an effective solution depends on a full, comprehensive, and sometimes interdisciplinary understanding of the problem. In our case, many of our problems had to do with customer service, but also with the technology provided by Comcast. The nature of internet service provision links these two components, and so defining a “how might we…” statement that encompassed both elements was the goal of our class time. I think we worked really well as a group, and I am really excited to see what ideas and innovations we come up with Monday in class!