CareWell is a management system and application that Eric is developing to help caregivers and their loved ones by providing practical and emotional relief during a time that can be stressful and hectic.
We had a limited amount of time – 3 hours – to meet and work with CareWell. This gave us an opportunity to focus on the rapid and structured nature of the Firestarter model. Before we came into the meeting we outlined out a timeline of our activities.
We started by spending half-an-hour with Eric discussing his project in-depth to gain a fundamental understanding of his needs. The following hour was spent brainstorming and synthesizing CareWell’s needs down to manageable tasks and questions that we could lend insights to. Next we broke apart, each participant grabbing a different task and going to work for an hour. After the intensive work session we came back together to present our insights and design concepts to Eric.
In the days that followed we revisited our ideas and composed our findings into more formal design documents that we have since delivered to Eric, hopefully providing insight and guidance as CareWell moves forward in development.
Reflections on the process:
All said this was a successful Firestarter. We were able to organize our time effectively and deliver a number of insights to Eric and CareWell.
Many of the lessons that we took away from this Firestarter came in the form of time management. We were limited to only 3 hours and as a result we didn’t have any time to waste. We jumped right in with co-design and brainstorming.
One thing that I’ve noticed both in class and through our Firestarting process is that there are times when we have to stop talking and make something. Externalizing ideas in a group is invaluable; brainstorming is one of our most powerful tools, but at some point we have to find a stopping point and go create, individually. It’s very easy in a group to talk an idea to death and lose hours discussing. At the end you’re left with lots of ideas, very few tangible results.
For this Firestarter we created time blocks, limiting our efforts to fixed cells of productivity. When a team member gets a chance to sit down and really focus on a single problem or task, that is where the real work gets done. We were able to take all the energy and momentum developed in the group co-work session and redirect it into individual tasks.
This has been effective not just in our Firestarter efforts but in our school work as well. In future sessions it might be productive to do this process a few times, cycling between brainstorming group sessions and individual action.
- JacobNo Comments »