Andy Pearson SessionLab

Remote Sail Boat

by for . Last edit was 18 days ago
20 - 30 5 - 10

By using the metaphor of a sailboat, teams can articulate what is working well and also, what is holding the organization back. Individually think about and note down:

What is moving us forward and What is Holding us back in as an organization or team.

Moving us forward: what's working for us, what's really good.

Holding us back: what challenges are we facing?

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Additional info

This exercise is an effective way to get quick insight from the whole team. In an online setting, this exercise works best with an online whiteboard such as Mural, though can work with Slack or even Google Docs. We've got a set of instructions for both :) Click on the block details button for more info!

Goal

To identify problems with a product/service/process

Attachments

You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.

Materials

    Instructions

    Examples

    Positives - Examples for 'What's moving us forward?'

    • Our blog posts seem to bring in new clients
    • Most of our leads turn into customers
    • Clients stay with us for years

    Negatives - Examples for 'What's holding us back?'

    • Our support and product team communication isn't great
    • Large team upgrades are unpredictable
    • It takes way too long to convert enterprise leads

    Preparation

    In a white space visible to the players, draw a boat with anchors attached and name the boat after the product/service or goal under discussion. This picture is the metaphor for the activity—the boat represents the product/service or goal and the anchors represent the obstacles slowing the movement toward a desired state.

    Write the question under discussion next to the boat. For example, “What are the features you don’t like about our product?” or “What’s standing in the way of progress toward this goal?”

    Flow

    1. Introduce Sailboat as a game designed to show what might be holding a product/service or goal back. Ask the players to review the question and then take a few minutes to think about the current features of the product/service or the current environment surrounding the goal.
    2. Next, ask them to take 5–10 minutes and write the features of the product/service they don’t like or any variables that are in the way on sticky notes. If you’d like, you can also ask the players to estimate how much faster the boat would go (in miles or kilometers per hour) without those “anchors” and add that to their sticky notes.
    3. Once they are finished, ask them to post the sticky notes on and around the anchors in the picture. Discuss the content on each sticky note and look for observations, insights, and “ahas”. Notice recurring themes, because they can show you where there’s consensus around what’s holding you back.

    Using an online whiteboard:

    1. Place or draw an image of a boat in the whiteboard and explain the rules of the game.
    2. On sticky notes, everyone individually writes down things that are moving us forward as a company. Give ten minutes for this round. (Create as many post-its as you can)
    3. One by one, people add their notes above the sailboat image and briefly explain what they've stuck up there. This helps get a good mood in the room.
    4. On sticky notes (of a different colour), write things that are holding us back or are bad as a company. Give ten minutes for this round. (Create as many post-its as you can)
    5. Instead of presenting this time, each person adds them to the board without explaining them.
    6. The facilitator then starts a voting session in Mural and participants spend the next ten minutes putting their dots on the challenges they feel are most important. Usually 10 votes each.
    7. The facilitator reorders all challenges and then puts them in order of votes in each category.
    8. Facilitator (or group) then turns all of the challenges with the highest votes into How Might We's sticky notes (Ignore low-voted challenges)
    9. EG: problem: we get all our clients through word of mouth. HMW: find alternative ways to find clients. Place the HMWs next to the relevant challenge.
    10. Final round of voting: each person votes on the How Might We they think the group should work on. In the event of a tie or indecision, the group leader can make an executive decision. 

    Using Slack:

    1. Add the image of a sailboat to your workshop Slack channel with the caption "What's moving us forward?" and explain the rules of the game. 
    2. In Google Docs or a note-taking app, everyone individually writes down things that are moving us forward as a companyGive ten minutes for this round. (Create as many items as you can)
    3. One by one, people add the items as a reply to the sailboat image in Slack and briefly explain what they've added there. This helps get a good mood in the room.
    4. Add a second image of the sailboat to the Slack channel with the caption "What's holding us back?" and write things that are holding us back or are bad as a company. Give ten minutes for this round. (Create as many items as you can)
    5. Instead of presenting this time, each person adds their items as a comment on the image of the second sailboat without explaining them.
    6. The facilitator then starts a voting session. Each participant spend the next ten minutes putting a thumbs up reaction on the challenges they feel are most important. Usually 10 votes each.
    7. The facilitator (or co-facilitator) then take all the challenges and then puts them in order of the number of votes received.
    8. Facilitator and the group then turns all of the challenges with the highest votes into How Might We's (Ignore low-voted challenges)
    9. EG: problem: we get all our clients through word of mouth. How might we find alternative ways to find clients? Place the HMWs in the slack room and/or Google Doc.
    10. Final round of voting: each person votes on the How Might We they think the group should work on. In the event of a tie or indecision, the group leader can make an executive decision. 


    Note:

    • Tell the players that the intention is to reveal less-than-desirable conditions so that you can be empowered to move the product/service or goal toward an improved state.
    • After the activity, it’s probable that you won’t have all the information or the right stakeholders to respond to the challenges comprehensively. So, if you hear the players critiquing or analyzing the content, gently tell them that problem solving is for another game—try to keep their attention focused solely on description, not solution.

    Background

    Speedboat is based on the same-named activity in Luke Hohmann’s book, Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play.

    Source: Gamestorming

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