Circle Up: iPads, Marshmallow Module and More

Posted on by Brandon Klein

Robert Beals, Robin Brooking, Drew Dernavich, Jonah Evans, Rob Evans, Brandon Klein & Ryan Romsey (aka The Reverand)


iPad Experience Notes (8 iPads were put in each breakout for the duration of the event): 

- Unless seamlessly linked to all event pieces, it would have been a failure
- The way the iPad is introduced by facilitator is very important; think 'business tool' not 'toy' or 'check my email-cool'. Krew also needs  to participants toward appropriate use
- Still has limitations. For example, it can't play video of session recordings (regardless of format.) Don't post video until after session
- No need for breakout books or input printings. Participants can see it all on the iPad
- At least one iPad per breakout is ideal
- Forces 'journal' to be real time. All capture processes and methodologies need to be rethought. AKA every report out tile/wall/input etc. needs to be on the iPad by the time the participants re-enter their break outs
- Nomenclature/naming conventions of all files (tiles, walls, assignments,inputs...) need to be rethought. Everything has to be 100% understandable by the client. Think not by Mod but by Time and Experience
- System settings, apps, etc. need to be locked down/turned off- Many, many other uses are possible. For example survey of participants,direct response... we only just tapped the possibilities on this first event.
- Many potential pitfalls along the way!- How do you plan for technology obsolescence as Apple/others introduce new technology?


Marshmallow Exercise (New Module):

First a quick summary:"The Marshmallow Challenge is a remarkably fun and instructive design exercise that encourages teams to experience simple but profound lessons in collaboration, innovation and creativity. The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top."Here are the instructions. And here is a ready to use DesignShop style Assignment (MS Word Doc- just add a header.) View the TED talk about it here:


- "Great" collaboration exercise
- Showing TED talk after participant debrief was fantastic. Everyone was glued to the TV and it closed out the module perfectly
- You can think of it as 'Inventions' for a 1/2 day event
- Buy proper 3M tape, anything else doesn't hold the structures together(participants that got generic tape called it 'Halliburton Tape')
- Create a hypertile scorecard to measure each teams height. Raises intensity of game
- Publish the time left on a screen so people can check in on exactly the amount of time they have left
- Don't stop teams from spying on each other. One team finished with 8minutes to spare, looked at other teams, started over and ended up winning the game
- Have a prize at the end. Winning team each got $100 gift certificates and were also asked to lead a team to take the event output forward!


General Circle Up Notes:
- Client was 'stunned' even the few E&Y folks who are familiar with DesignShops (Rob won a bottle of Scotch for doing the FRO in <1 hour)
- Communication between roles wasn't great. With 9 breakouts and a couple <15 minute transitions, things got a little dicey. Client didn't notice, but clearer command chain would have helped
- Inputs were continually handed off. With hundreds of inputs, one point of reference throughout would have made a big difference
- Everyone on the team is highly experienced. How do we make room for training new/less experienced people on the fundamentals of our job, especially as tech and input/output change dramatically?
- One person from krew joined a day late. This should never be done
- Hypertiles should be in the space (like lost-and-found) "Can you get me a hypertile?" is a silly request for participants to make!
- Have client provide "shadow" employees
- Krew Skype call before event to share complexities and get everyone prepared would be a great 'best practice'

Jonah: Bathroom break took 2:12
Brandon: Bathroom break took 2:51
Beers consumed: 14