Instructions for facilitating Problem-Solution card

For "Group problem solving together" tool, "Work the stage" stage and "problem-solution" card activity. This is a collaborative card.
Written by Martin West
Updated 2 years ago

To facilitate the session in each stage, you can 

Facilitate a dialogue to define the problem/solution/options and document it together in this activity. This works well when there are a few expert voices, and there is limited value in engaging the larger group for their input. Use the tool to take visible notes and confirm a shared understanding. This gives the opportunity for individual's to speak up with different idea if they want to add their perspective. Meeting science studies show that generally they don't.

Or use brainwriting technique. Ask for each person's perspective on the problem or solution idea or evaluations.  

  • To avoid group think, initially you can hide each person's answers and then share
  • When all answers are shared, participants can build on each others ideas
  • Participants can then group similar ideas together, identifying their action to the group... this may trigger conversation.
  • Or the facilitator or lead can work through the data with dialogue and participants can volunteer to take the actions. 
  • A good technique here is to identify the different themes in the data and group & label the answers according to these themes. One participant per theme can label the answers. Others can review.  
  • This is very similar to Affinity mapping... please explore different techniques and find what works for you and your team.  
  • Now you have the themes identified, as a facilitator or lead you want to ensure a shared understanding of the data. If this has not been achieve in the steps above facilitate a dialogue about the results. It may make sense to ask each person to quickly highlight something that could their attention. 
  • When the team has a good enough understanding of the options held within the answer, you can run a prioritization event (vote, score or rank) 

To evaluate a solution or deepen problem understanding, use techniques such as: 

  • Create labels that allow you to filter on the answers specific to the problem/solution. 
  • Add new dimensions to explore by adding questions.. such as risk, dependencies, user experience, technology, etc...   
  • Generate team focus on this work by creating an event that saves each view (questions and labels)
  • Run each event as a group or split up the group to work on separate events (via breakout rooms in zoom/teams) - use messaging chat to communicate with the facilitator for new labels or events.
  • if breakout groups were used, gather for a dialogue with all teams, to ensure joint understanding prior to picking a solution. This may be a separate time.

Picking a solution from a set of options involves understanding how the decision is going to be made. The decision maker(s) may take the recommendation from the group or it can be a group decision. i.e. Scoring, voting or ranking options can be used to inform or to make the decision. The team has to fully understand the process prior to the selection process start. 

  • Create an event for voting, ranking or scoring. Design the schema to frame the input you are seeking. 
  • Ensure that answers that will be ranked, scored or voted on are against the questions "List the solution or solutions that are picked for more detailed planning (in next activity)?" These are moved to the planning activity in the next card.  
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