How to Facilitate Digital Design with Co-Located and Distributed Teams
December 7, 2017
People are inherently creative, but all too often fail to embrace it. They need to develop what IDEO’s Tim Brown refers to as creative confidence. The same holds true for working together, especially in distributed settings. It’s critical to build collaborative confidence to overcome the many challenges involved in building productive distributed teams.
Regardless of whether you’re a designer, developer, marketer or an executive, if something you’re working on with a team isn’t well received, you might be inclined to shy away from it instead of improving upon it.
But with the right tools, you and your team can develop more acute collaborative confidence.
Mark Tippin, a LUMA-certified instructor and Head of Content Design at MURAL, and Nuha Masri, Head of Marketing at MURAL, recently shared best practices for planning and executing effective remote design sessions to help teams collaborate more creatively in-person and offsite.
How to Facilitate Remote Design with Distributed Teams
In reality, remote design sessions have the potential to be more productive than co-located workshops. Their effectiveness, though, hinges on the approach. Mark Tippin, as well as many IBM Design experts, strongly recommend appointing a neutral facilitator to keep teams on track.
As a facilitator, it’s important to know that a digital approach will vary from one in person. Mark recommends considering all facets of the teams, tools and tasks that will be involved in the planning phase. Here are some of his suggestions for what to do before, during and after a remote session.
Before a remote design session, make sure everyone is familiar with the tools and information. Consider assigning pre-work that lets the team get familiar with the digital environment.
During the session, use your pre-work prompt as a warm up exercise to get everyone comfortable sharing. As time goes on, call on people to keep sharing and assign both small-group and individual activities to keep them engaged.
Afterwards, give your participants a place to connect. This could be a Slack channel or shared workspace, where they can share feedback, resources and takeaways. Having a digital artifact will help guide your next session.