In Class Group Brainstorming
From CS 160 Fall 2008
Lecture on 9/17/2008
- Deep Dive (200 MB mpg in zip) IDEO Deep Dive from ABC Nightline.
1. The deep dive included an intervention by "adults" when the ideation process seemed to be wandering. Discuss what was done, and whether it was effective.
2. Small teams were selected to do the first round of prototypes. Discuss the advantages of that approach.
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Perry Lee 04:34, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
After watching the video, I was more impressed with the ideas discussed in the earlier reading, The Art of Innovation. It is one thing to read about it, and it is an entirely new experience to watch it. What I especially liked is the video's emphasis on inculcating an open culture and environment -- one in which constructive discourse and "chaos" is encouraged. If people are too afraid to speak their mind and go against what their superiors may think is the "right" way, innovation is stifled. Of course, some amount of order is needed (e.g., the financial side of a business), but it seems intuitive that people will work better in a more relaxed, fun environment versus one that is rigid and focused on a hierarchical structure. Another point that I thought was good is the encouragement of "wild" ideas and not to judge an idea prematurely -- who knows which ones will become success stories after a little (or perhaps a lot of) refinement?
Stuart Bottom 06:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
It was interesting to see the emphasis placed on prototyping, especially after today's lecture: it illustrates the extreme importance of being able to directly manipulate a physical object. Even though the team on the show had only 5 days to complete the shopping cart project, they came up with five full-size prototypes (one of which was the final design). I was a bit surprised that they actually took time out of "designing" to build prototypes before the design was finalized - just to showcase carts focusing on one area of improvement each - but this was in fact part of the design process. It was important to them to be able to critique ideas not just on paper but in "real life;" something you can handle and feel becomes a much more compelling problem to work on. This is well worth keeping in mind as we begin work on our brainstorming process. Another aspect of the video I found interesting was the comparisons made to "standard" corporate culture; those are lessons well worth paying attention to. As Perry mentioned, the free culture concept is what makes IDEO tick - 1000+ patents since 1978 means they are doing something right.
Jordan Berk 20:47, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
One thing that popped out at me was the effectiveness of dividing the task into four separate areas of concern (shopping, safety, checkout, and finding what you're looking for). Even if the separate groups hadn't built mock-ups, this division of labor made it so that the key factors for each area of concern could be addressed directly and isolated. You can see that the final product took the primary idea from each of the mock-ups (modular baskets, scanner, etc), which shows that the main innovations from each of the four groups was integrated. By separating the concerns out, they were able to really figure out what was absolutely needed for each and prioritize exactly which features to include.
Greg Nagel 21:48, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
From the description in the reading, I didn't understand just how much work this sort of process takes. Each person on the team put in long hours and was constantly looking for new ideas the entire time. It's the kind of work you have to love to do.
In addition, I found it enlightening to see how the managers would tighten the reigns due to time constraints. It's not a democratic process, nor a strict hierarchy, but a meritocracy where everyone has a say if he or she speaks up, within a loose structure set up by management. Futhermore, even management when through the same brainstorming process to make execute decisions.
KevinFriedheim 22:38, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
The intervention by "adults" meant that, due to time/financial constraints, the brainstorm and design process cannot go on forever, so some intervention needs to take place or "it could go on forever," as the CEO of IDEO describes.
After watching, I really thought that it was amazing how the process can actually stimulate a working prototype. I know that in the previous reading, not all of IDEO's process and idea strategies were covered, but I agree with Jordan Berk that it was a very effective strategy to split the team into groups that each specialized on individual problems that were thought of during the brainstorm. By doing this split, it allows different designers to focus (in smaller groups) on a particular aspect of the problem solution. Even more, these ideas were not picked at random, but instead voted for and then looked at more carefully. Also, like was stated in the readings, no idea gets thrown out -- no matter how wacky or insane it is.
Buda Chiou 23:21, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Designing a new type of shopping cart in five day is really crazy. I'm not sure if I heard it wrong, but they actully built the prototypes for the new shopping cart at the second day. However, what surprised me is not how fast they finished their project but how they collaborated together. There are so many members in the team, and they all have some good ideas about the new shopping cart. Although their ideas are very different, they didn't fight each other but combined the advantages of each idea into their final product, which I think is the most difficult thing for teamwork.
Haosi Chen 23:51, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
In the video, the efficiency of the method that the designing team used to separate task into four different area of concern really amazed me. Even the separate groups didn't built mock-ups, but their ideas really help the final product to be developed. We can see from the video that the final product took the primary idea from each of the separated group. By separating the concern in to four different area, people are able to really figure out what is absolutely need and prioritize the features.
After watching the video, I was surprised about designing a new type of shopping cart in five day. Although, almost all of them were not same field of study and profession, they could collaborat together and had finish their work. As mentioning their opinion from different perspective, they can obtain different idea to make totally innovative product. This movie is a very good example for an interdisciplinary work.
Billy Grissom 02:16, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Before I get into answering the questions, I just wanted to say that I was really impressed by that video. At first I thought it sonded pretty lame but it actualy ended up being realy cool and intriguing.
I really liked IDEO's approach to designing the cart. It did seem a bit hectic with there being multiple prototypes and ideas being thrown out...but in the end I think it did really work out. It seemed nice that everyone got the chance to provide their own input and put forth their own ideas. There was no shooting down or massive crticisim. Sure this resulted in many ideas being out there...but that just made the project have that much more potential. i guess the idea to formulating a prototype here is a really "the more the merrier" approach...and I think this video shows it definitely works.
All that being said the idea of having "adults" really helps the project as well. As chaotic as everything looked the adults seemed to do a great job of making the team stay focused and not deviate too far from getting the object done. In 169 one of the things thy warned us about this prototype approach is that it's easy to get stuck to a prototype and never finish actually finish the project. Since so many different prototypes were developed it was hard to get stuck to one thing. In addition, the adults were accepting towards everyone's ideas...it seems that in the end the final product really did include an eclectic mix of all the prototypes. Thus, I think the idea of having various teams was a very, very good call.
I also like how they emphasized the need for research. This really goes hand in hand with our previous articles and how they gave the overall message of having to interact with the users. Dave's team couldn't have demonstrated it any better.
Also, I must admit that was one awesome shopping cart. I'd be happy to shop with one of those :D
Alan McCreary 03:24, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think the key goal in the ideation process was to let loose each person's imagination while still keeping them grounded in the real world. In an ideal world, there wouldn't be deadlines or other constraints, and we could come up with as many ideas for as long as we wanted; but as long as these constraints exist, keeping focus is essential. I feel the "adult interventions" were necessary and were kept sufficiently short.
What I liked most was the segment about the employees' workspaces. The bike-on-a-rope creation shows that it's better to have a "try and maybe fail" mentality than a "don't try because it might fail" mentality.
Jonathan Fong 03:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The advantage of small teams for the first round of prototypes is that more ideas get created physically before they are "filtered" out by the process. If only one prototype was made to start out, then many potentially strong ideas could not be implemented. With many first round prototypes created by the small teams, however, other team members can see and critique ideas. This can only help make the product better. With many prototypes, the final product can truly be a combination and improvement upon all the best ideas from the brainstorming process.
Trinhvo 03:55, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think video clip is very interesting. The designers' workplace is pretty much the same as described in the reading. There's a leader to guide the teams. They have paper everywhere hang on the walls. They encourage wild ideas. And especially, there's no boss-employee relationship here. To gain more ideas, everyone has to come to a supermarket, be consumers, and ask for consumers' ideas. After seeing this video, I realize there's no stupid idea, every idea has its strength for innovation, and designers need to know how to take them together to produce the best result.
Kumar Garapaty 04:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The intervention by "adults" was done to move people from one part of the cycle to the next: specifically from design to prototype stage. They had to do this because of the time constraints on implementing the idea and the "adults" had to make sure that they were on the right phase for the right time.
The small teams with focused agendas of safety, checking out, etc allow each small team to implement their own vision of the right type of shopping cart for each purpose. If there was one large team, then perhaps good ideas that could be conflicting with others may be lost without any implementation.
Overall, the IDEO message of designing was extremely focused and the video presented it clearly.
JoshuaKwan 04:51, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with all the other comments that this video really put all that contextual inquiry stuff into perspective. I mean, I believed in its usefulness before, but seeing it put to use was really neat. By interacting with all kinds of people the teams were able to get a real feel for what real people feel about .. carts. Yeah.
The intervention was necessary, because even though Kelly could go blathering on about how insanity and promoting silly ideas is how his company innovates, it can't get too out of hand. Like the velcro pants thing was a clearly pie in the sky idea. So he refocused the group to get them to think about ideas that would be more realistic.
The small teams approach is good because the round table thing with all the people in the entire group, while it allows many ideas to flow, no one idea can come out in detail. With smaller teams it is okay to spend 20-30 minutes just focusing on one idea and fleshing it out, but that pace would be too glacial for a big round table where everyone wants to say something.
Kai Lin Huang 04:57, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The team encourages a lot of wild ideas so that “adults” must be in charge once a while to keep the team focus and push the project going forward instead of horizontal spreading time and energy at one stage. Small team prototypes do a lot of goods in this case. First, small teams are more flexible and mobile when they go out to conduct surveys. As shown in the Deep Dive, small teams went out and tried to use the shopping carts themselves and record their experiences with the traditional carts. They can visit more places to find out problems due to different customer flows, store management and store layouts. Second, a lot of opinions and ideas can create conflicts if they are to be implemented all at once. For example, one team member designs one kind of baby seat, and the other proposes another kind. Multiple prototypes test out and differentiate partial designs. Third, it can still gather a variety of opinions to bring up possible solutions that can satisfy different aspects of a problem. A small team can still benefit from the collaboration in prototyping with individuals’ skills.
nathanyan 05:50, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think the big advantage of the intervention/"reining in" process is that it allows the "Deep Dive" to become possible at all. Knowing that there are "adults" who are overseeing things and who will know to rein things in when it's time, this allows the designers to completely eschew realism and go all-in with their ideas. Without this sort of process, one could always still tell designers to go out and bring all their ideas to the table, but in the back of everyone's mind, each designer will do a "realism check" and think "Hm, well that's interesting, but obviously it can't ever work - should I even bother pitching it out?". The intervention process takes the feasibility burden out of the hands of designers entirely, which allows them to explore idea to their fullest extent.
Obviously with small teams, each one can specialize and create the fullest solution for their task at hand, without compromising any part of the design to take into account other factors. This fits perfectly with IDEO's mantra, which is simply to develop ideas before worrying about the final product, which leads to innovative and revolutionary designs, rather than simple evolutions.
Also, did anybody happen to catch that early Guitar Hero prototype (right around 14:00)?
Paul Im 06:02, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
After every member of the team voted on their preferences, the “adults” intervened and decided which preferences the team would actually implement. The video said that without these “adults”, there would be no end to the continuous brainstorming or flow of ideas. At one point in time, decisions need to be made regarding the final product. This seems to be true and very time-effective. However, rather than having specific “adults” intervene, I would have suggested implementing the preferences with the highest votes. They should not have to narrow down the final decision using just a couple of leaders.
Under a large team, only one prototype would be created. The multiple, smaller teams allows for more innovation even after the basic round of brainstorming is completed. Multiple groups also allow for the same idea to be designed in more than one way. Also, there would not be as much tension amongst the team, since every member of the company does not have to agree upon one design.
Vedran Pogacnik 06:14, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The intervention by “adults” meant bringing the project back to reality. Segregating the “adults” from the rest brought the project within the construct of a company, which meant keeping in mind responsibilities, deadlines, etc. The rest of the group are seem to be the workhorse, deliberately not burdening them with politics, and enabling their mind to focus on the project.
For the purposes of IDEO and that particular branch of industry (that seems to be more oriented towards mechanical engineering and design), I think it was very effective. What made it possible to be effective was the close relationship between the thing that IDEO was building and people. Sadly, that isn’t always true about software, where innovation demonstrated at IDEO might get shot down because of the rigid details of low-level software, that every high-level software is based upon.
It is a common truth that five heads think better than one. That is the principal advantage that breaking up into smaller teams brings. There is a catch though: the teams weren’t broken up initially, but only after they have group-brainstormed. Once all the ideas are out on the table, it seems much more beneficial to draw out of the ideas that are already out there, than for smaller teams to come up with ideas on their own.
Karen Tran 06:21, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The video really amazed me. Watching the whole process being played out on videos really put a reality to the reading, because how matter how good the reading was, it seemed like it’s just theory, and seeing that theory put into practice is an entirely different experience. The collaboration in the video clip amazed me. There were so many people working on it, with so many different inputs, all of which were considered and valued, under such a time constraint. I thought it was really effective to split the team up into smaller teams, each of which focused on one aspect of the project. It’s like divide-and-conquer; each concerned is addressed semi-independently. Yet all the ideas from each concern were in-sync with each other. I think with so many people, the “adult” was essential to the project because with so many people working on it, and with new ideas constantly being unraveled, if there was no way to “direct” the project forward towards the next phase of the development cycle, the team might be stuck at the prototyping phase and wouldn’t be able to finish the project in the time constraint. I agreed with many responses above that the fun, free environment that was created by allowing everyone to speak their minds and taken seriously really pushed the project forward. I think that had they worked under a rigid environment, it’d felt too much like a boss-employee relationship, that the employee would’ve been taken less seriously or his ideas would be less valued. And the final product would have felt like the work of one person (the boss) instead of a team as a whole.
Gary Wu 06:33, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
It was amazing to see how much thought and effort goes into the design process. The fact that everything around us, excluding natural objects, is designed in some way is so true. There definitely is a divide between design and invention. I can definitely agree with the idea that the workers at IDEO are "experts in the process." Like the brainstorming article, the theme that everyone are equals was reiterated over and over. There were also many key points and ideologies that really stuck out to me. Two in particular were: "Enlightened trial and error succeeds the planning of a lone genius" and "Fail often in order to succeed sooner."
Cynthia T. Hsu 07:25, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think one of the major purposes of the adults is to provide some sort of established organization; as Vedran said, having adults there to reign in during the Deep Dive prevented burdening the rest of the group with politics - not only with the clients they were working with (I thought it was interesting how different the workplace of IDEO was from the conventional conference room where they met with their clients), but also with each other. Without some designated leadership, I think it would be difficult for specific tasks to be accomplished. I've found that when I work with a large group sometimes, without someone taking the authority to designate specific tasks (in the case of the IDEO video, what the major tasks at hand are and who is assigned to study them, followed by the division into small groups), a lot of really good ideas get thrown out without any execution. The manager actually explicitly said that "you have to designate some people to make sure that the store's point of view is represented." The "adults" were also invaluable in making sure no one's ideas were shot down and preventing too many digressions - I feel that this is a really big potential problem in brainstorming, as people might get really passionate about their ideas it might be easy for the attacks to get fairly vicious or personal. I also found it interesting that the group leader made a point to emphasize key important aspects of the design the others might have overlooked (i.e., shopping carts must nest). In a similar vein, the group might be having too much fun coming up with wild ideas that they might lose their "focused" chaos. I also noted that the adults were "self-appointed"; it wasn't so much someone assigned as much as anyone who cared enough to redirect the group. Only after the adults got together were the designers broken up into teams.
I really really like the idea of splitting up into small ideas. Not only does it let each group focus on solving a specific problem, but it also provides a more intimate environment in which to focus and explore ideas more fully, which includes specific critiques and praises. Prior to implementation, everyone brings to the table a biased opinion of the validity of an idea, and I think having a smaller group makes it much easier to pick a direction to focus on.
Jimmy Nguyen 08:03, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The deep dive was very effective because all the adults came from different backgrounds. If it was only computer scientists, then it would be hard to imagine something outside of a logical prototype would be developed and there would be no "wild" ideas to go further upon. It also seemed as though these ideas were good to categorize the topics that needed to be issued in terms of improving the shopping cart. For instance, there was one person who thought of the velcro seats, but the real shopping cart ended up with a convenient, yet stable way for the kids to be comfortable, yet safe in their seats.
When they did the deep dive as a large group, it was cool because they had hundreds of ideas with virtually no range and limitations because being wild and thinking outside of the box was emphasized. However, to move on, it was best to go on small groups that focused on smaller tasks. The advantage of small groups doing the first round of prototypes is that the smaller group is more capable to focus on particular elements, like safety, security, etc. However, since there are still approximately 4-5 people per group, the group is still capable of coming up with "wild" ideas within those particular elements to potentially further improve the overall protoypes.
Geoffrey Lee 08:13, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Having an "adult" in the group is definitely important because although a leader should delegate work to subordinates (in this case, the brainstorming process), the leader ultimately carries responsibility for the project. I believe that having such an "adult" responsible for the final decision allows the rest of the group to work without really worrying about risking their own neck, and therefore allowing ideas to flow more freely. The "adult" essentially becomes the lightning rod protecting the rest of the group, and so I really view the final decision-making as a burden rather than a privilege.
With their first round of prototypes, the multiple small-teams approach works really well because it allowed them to test several ideas at the same time, and having multiple prototypes allows you to perform comparisons that better underscore each design's advantages.
Witton Chou 08:32, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
First off, I really enjoyed watching the video - it made me smile while i was watching it. They all seemed to really enjoy what they do and they all have fun working together.
While the prototyping process is fun and they come up with and encourage wild ideas, they do sometimes get carried away. The "adult" intervention is to ensure that their brainstorming and discussion process does not get carried away - they need to be reminded to stay focused and on task and the "adults" help facilitate the direction of this process.
The small team structure on the first round of prototypes is like a sporting competition where teams are eliminated on poor performance. However, in this case, instead of eliminating a team, they combine all the good ideas each group found. By splitting into small teams, the research and idea development focused on solving different issues that all improve the current design of shopping carts. As a result, instead of a solution that only solves one or two problems, each group came up with different ideas to solve and improve on multiple issues. "Enlightened trial and error succeeds over the planning of the lone genius." (11:45)
Jeffrey Rosen 08:36, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
It is important to have some sort of authority to moderate a discussion. Otherwise, you can end up wasting large amounts of time on things that don't ultimately matter at all. This can easily be avoided by having a trusted authority to simply end tangents and other less than useful directions. Furthermore, you can brainstorm forever. Given real time constraints, you must have some kind of direction in order to start and end sessions effectively.
Small teams tend to be very successful. Large teams have a large amount of overhead and are very hard to operate efficiently. You can also have redundancy, where each team works in a slightly different direction. At the end, you can combine the best ideas into the final product.
Kevin Lam 08:57, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
As is true with most brainstorming sessions, having someone (in this case the "adult") facilitate discussions and moreover, be responsible for the end product helps to keep the group on track and moving forward. Without a facilitator, a group can continue to brainstorm endlessly without making progress. I can say that from personal experience, it is easy to brainstorm a lot of ideas but not get anywhere because the group cannot decide on a direction to take. It is only when someone takes lead and either makes a decision or forces the group to vote on an option that progress is made. In IDEO's case, the "adults" allowed the team members to vote on a preference before making a final decision. By allowing the team members to voice their opinions, the "adults" created a relatively level playing field in which all team members had an opportunity to contribute to the end result.
Another role of the "adults" was to keep the groups focused on the main objective: designing a new shopping cart. The "adults" helped the team members redirect their attention when they wandered off topic. Additionally, the "adults" brought up key project requirements when the group seemed to lose sight of them. Both of these responsibilities are required in all projects but the ownership of them is not always clear. By assigning the responsibilities to an "adult," it makes it clear who's role it is to keep the group on task.
On a final note, allowing the "adults" to be self appointed meant the "adults" had an interest in leading the groups. From my experience, assigning leaders or facilitators doesn't work out as well as when people volunteer to take the position. People who volunteer to take lead are generally more passionate about the task at hand and more willing to go out of their way to meet the project requirements. When a person is told to take lead, he or she may feel as though the leadership role has been thrust upon him or her. The task then becomes a burden, as opposed to an incentive.
Giving each team a different focus helps generate more elaborate ideas. Because each team is expected to key in on a different part of the project, ideas are generated more thoroughly and given more time to develop. The sum of the ideas, however, is still not lost because the groups were able to reconvene to share their proposals. Lastly, as Geoffrey mentioned, having multiple prototypes allows you to make comparisons between designs.
Frank Yang 08:59, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
This video turned out to be surprisingly entertaining. They did repeatedly say that it was hard work, but it really seemed like they were enjoying themselves. The intervention that happened by the "adults" I feel was by all means necessary. Like they mentioned in the video, if there was no time limit, the prototyping process could go on forever. And while ideas after ideas are spilling out, it can be easy to get carried away. The intervention was there to bump the team to the next step and to halt the flow of new ideas and start creating something off the existing ones. Without the "adults", I feel a lot of time could be potentially wasted on outrageous ideas that would never make it past the brainstorming stage.
I think that the small teams that were created was very effective. By splitting them into small groups and assigning them individual problems to focus on, the realizing of each solution actually occurred. The small groups would be communicate better and be better focused, not having to worry about improving on other aspects. By breaking it down by problem, no problem was ignored and no ideas were wasted.
Antony Setiawan 13:11, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The CEO of IDEO points out that invtervention by adults is sometimes necessary. That is very true, in my opinion, because in the real process of innovation, there exist limits such as time and budget. Taking example from the brainstorming process, the process would go forever and can wander off if there's no intervention by "adults". Having all the "kids" to pour out their ideas while keeping them all on the right track is accomplished by this method.
Having a small teams stimulates more creative yet focused thinking compared to totally "random" ideas of a big sized team, thus also increases efficiency.
One interesting issue that is brought up in the video is "try and ask for forgiveness". I think this idea is exactly how prototyping should run. We don't ask for much permission from people but instead, we just try to realize our design and see if people can "forgive us"
MuQing Jing 15:45, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think that by knowing that there are "adults" ready to intervene, it forces to group to stay on task and not get too off track while discussing the topic at hand. However, that same knowledge allows for them to think more creatively without fear of putting forth and idea that is too extreme or outrageous, because the "adults" will be able to steer it back to something more reasonable and sane. Also, the presence of the "adults" allows the team not to have to worry so much about certain constraints, be it time, budgetary, or logistical. It seems like this method really allows the "kids" to be able to use their imagination reasonably while still maintaining the presence of mind that the adults have.
Using small teams for individual portions allows for a more effective distribution of work. With one large team, it seems like the team would be subject to too many distractions, with too many ideas being put forth for every portion of the work. In smaller teams, although only a few people have a say in the specific implementation for a particular portion, it does allow the team to work more effectively and efficiently, as needless bickering and back-and-forth discussions are avoided. This is evident as they were able to complete the final project in just 5 days.
Shyam Vijayakumar 16:09, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The intervention of “adults” meant bringing some reality to the situation. A group of people can come up with a large number of ideas, but they might not all be feasible. Feasibility is based on factors like the time and budget that the team has to solve a particular problem. Also, the brainstorming format that IDEO follows can slowly lead the discussion away from the problem at hand. Such a highly interactive social environment is bound to eventually lose track of the problem and eventually just socialize. Thus, the “adults” have to come in and take away a few crazy ideas and also refocus the discussion perhaps by bringing up more questions related to the problem.
When my group brainstormed for the first time, the ideas eventually became too ambitious for many reasons. Some ideas could not be materialized within the 2 month time period we have. Some ideas required resources that we did not have access to. But once we had them all up on the board, we had to go back to reality and cross out some unreasonable ideas.
A large number of people working on a single prototype can become unproductive because there will simply be too many ideas floating around. It would be difficult and damaging to the quality of the prototype to try to incorporate them all somehow. With small groups, a few good ideas can be more easily incorporated into a single prototype. Also, in the video, each small group was assigned an aspect of the problem to solve. If each problem had to be solved in the same prototype, the members solving one aspect of the problem would have to wait for the other members solving a different aspect of the problem to implement their solution on the prototype. Dividing up into groups according to different aspects of the problem allowed members to immediately any solution they came up with, while not having to wait for others.
James Yeh 16:18, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Through the intervention of adults, the design team moved from brainstorming and design ideas to actually building prototypes of their favorite designs. The “adults” in this case had to get the process moving because of time constraints, and as the person in the video states, the brainstorming and design stage could go on forever. In the end, this intervention was effective in getting the team on schedule and nudging them to move forward with their ideas.
Dividing into small teams was also effective, because it allowed the members of Ideo to split into multiple groups, each working on a different prototype. With smaller groups, each team was able to focus better on their own specific prototype, and not be sidetracked and distracted by other ideas/prototypes. The lower amount of people forming each team also allowed members to work more closely with each other and communicate more often. Finally, when all the prototypes were built, the teams were able to share and compare the advantages of each of their designs.
Shaharyar Muzaffar 16:22, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The intervation of the "adults" is to guide the team. This might need to occur, because the group could get out of focus or to guid ethe team to tackle certain design issues.
The main advantage of using small teams is that instead of starting with just one prototype, you start with several. This is aadvantagous, as the video stated, you can consolodate all the good ideas of each prototype into one better prototype. Also, rather than just discussing different ideas and choosing what is the best idea based on thought, you can see all the ideas in action and choose from there.
Xuexin Zhang 16:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
During the brainstorming process, the role of “adults” could makes sure the ideas stay on focus and implantable within the limitation of resources such as time and cost, and also ensures the brainstorming process doesn’t not go on forever.
The advantage of selecting small teams to do the first round of prototypes is to have multiple prototypes built in a short time and be able to see if there any major mistakes of the design of the prototypes.
Hao Luo 16:32, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The deep dive included an intervention by "adults" when the ideation process wandered too far. This may be due to the team's short deadline of 5 days. However, in any brainstorm it is a good idea when the ideas become too numerous and chaotic, that the team needs to stop and refocus on the task at hand. I think it is not only effective but necessary. Even though wild ideas are encouraged, there still needs to be a focus in the brainstorm. We can't come up with any ideas we want. We have to be alert that the ideas we come up with are related to the project at hand. And when the ideas start to run all over the place, it makes it more difficult to organize them and narrow them down later on.
Small teams were selected to do the first round of prototypes. This is an approach that makes the most sense because now that we've narrowed down all the ideas, we want to start making prototypes. However, we don't want to make just one prototype because all of a sudden narrowing our ideas down to one prototype might be too limiting and we might miss a lot of features. So, refocus on a few key concepts and build prototypes for each. In this way, the team addresses at least several important features that need to be implemented when the final prototype is built; it's a much wider scope. The disadvantage, of course, is that it takes several times as much time and people, but it's a crucial step. We can see from the prototypes that while each one implements a good idea, it's really when all the prototypes are put together into one prototype that the cart really feels innovative and complete. It's not just, how do we change to cart to perform better in this one area, but rather, how do we make an entirely new and innovative product that addresses many things about the current cart that could be done better. A truly innovative and fresh product does not take something we already have and merely improve upon it in one way, but it makes breakthroughs in all areas.
Anthony Kilman 16:36, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I didn't realize the importance of prototyping during the design process. So far, in regards to readings and lectures, I was under the impression that brainstorming was of primary importance. But it makes total sense, because issues that could not be identified via brainstorming are squashed by having a physical product, albeit an incomplete one.
One important thing I noticed though is that small teams are necessary for the sake of productivity. Although a larger team could potentially produce many more ideas during the brainstorm process, the progress overall and the exchange of ideas would be minimal.
Bing Wang 16:56, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
WOW! It is just simply amazing that they designed a new shopping cart in 5 days. That would require a lot of efficiency and a systematic approach on IDEO's part. The video mentioned that IDEO designed over 90 products every year. Without a systematic approach to design problems, it's very hard to come up with that many great designs. They use a systematic approach that works. Firstly, they do not throw out any ideas and everyone in the firm has an equal say on which ideas are the best by voting. Secondly, they split into smaller groups to prototype different ideas. From my past experience, prototyping is extremely important. That's when you first see the product. It's hard to convince people that your idea on paper really works, but once you have something to show off such as a prototype, it's much easier. Lastly, they tried to combine the merit of all the ideas that they have which is very effective.
Mike Kendall 17:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Was the intervention at the point that the prototypes came out and some of them were a little silly? If that's the case, that was a pretty subtle intervention. It did seem both appropriate and functional since the crazier parts of each cart were removed from the final product. The small teams seemed to stray from the ultimate goal of the brainstorm, but that was also their purpose. Each team was told to think of only one facet to the problem, so it's almost wrong to call this an "intervention" since it was an expected outcome of the development process.
I really can't say that this video showed very much about the process that Ideo uses to develop ideas. With the reading as context, this video mostly serves as support to the claim that Ideo keeps a mostly silly workplace, yet they can still be very productive and profitable.
Juanpadilla 17:40, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The process of brainstorming that they used was really great. They brought the ideas in the first reading to life so it was great to see an example of how to put these skills to use. I thought however, that there would be more together ideating before they went out and started creating prototypes but maybe they just didn't show this. The idea of making no physical hyrachy of bosses made their ideas flow better and there were some pretty crazy ideas. It was good to see that they did eventually pull it all together at the end to get some form of organization. What a great idea for only just a few days of work. Wonder what they could do with a more substantial amount of time.
Mikeboulos 17:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The "adults" choose to refocus the deep dive when the idea was wondering, They didn't want to tell them what to do so that they wouldn't but a box around their ideas, but they made sure that the prototype will match with the goal. They choose to refocus by splitting the team into smaller teams with different and smaller tasks. This was effective since the focus became on one thing at a time. This was basically divide and conquer approach. They did well for the small pieces, but another intervention had to be made for the final product. Putting all of these ideas in one cart took them all night, so it is time consuming to split and refocus, but was essential.
One major thing I liked is that the model of the company is: "fail often in order to succeed sooner"
and that has been shown in this video, every single group failed to do the ultimate cart, but had subtle (smaller) ideas that were part of the final design. now that down side of this that they had to spend more time to merge all these ideas, but without splitting I think they would have still been trying to design this cart. also by splitting the group into smaller group they were able to create a pre prototype. This was a great advantage, because they can now see what might work and what will not work.
if the first round of prototypes were done by the whole team then this would have been a big problem since most of the wild ideas would have been put down so that they can get the final cart. so creating smaller groups gave them more ideas and as crazy as they might seem, they were close to perfect.
Volodymyr Kalish 17:48, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The adult intervention shown in the video was needed to stop the process. Otherwise, the ideas will never converge and the product will never meet the deadline. So, it is needed to meet the deadlines. Also, the adult intervention helped to trim down the wild and unnecessary parts that would probably be costly to implement or too wild to get acceptance from customers.
As for designing many prototypes by different teams, such a process helps to keep wild ideas alive and options open. Also, these prototypes can serve as visuals to see the cons and pros of all the ideas and take the product for a spin through another iteration of brainstorming.
Mohammed Ali 19:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The intervention by adults was needed to help move the process forward. Although idea generation is vital to the design process, finalizing ideas and moving forward is critical to actually producing a prototype. We can see that they did quite well in this area in coming up with multiple prototypes. The smaller group allowed for more specialized design and encouraged the designer to focus on their particular goal abstracting out the functionality design of other parts of the cart. This modularization allowed increased design productivity in parallel with the other groups.