The My Best Life team are running remote design sprints!
Last week, we ran our first design sprint session, using Miro, alongside a video chat using Zoom. Next week the real sprints start! Below I have captured some of my reflections/learning so far:
Remote design sprints can work
We are not the only ones to do this. People have been running remote design sprints for years. Whilst face-to-face is preferable, it can be done online using software like Miro and Mural. My Best Life is testament of this. Keep checkign back for more posts on this.
Ice-breakers are even more crucial
Participating in a remote workshop can feel strange. Some love it. Some hate it. When do I talk? Are people listening? It can be harder to ask ‘silly’ questions. You need to get every talking as soon as possible. Nobody wants to stare at a screen all day, with just the tapping of keyboards for company.
8-hour sessions are far too long
We knew this already but we wanted to test the process and see how much we could achieve. I can confirm, 8-hours is far too long, even with a session of independent work away from our computers. We are now moving to running half day sessions (approx. 4 hours max!)
Breaks are essential
The team can mute mics and hide their cameras for the break. This reduces the likelihood of technological difficulties. It also means the leader can start talking again to prompt people to come back together.
Mix up the format to sustain engagement
Can some of it be done independently? Where possible, allow people the chance to work off the screen, as well as online. For this we set a clear time frame and asked all participants to mute their mics and cameras. The team could then unmute if they have any questions and the facilitators are on hand to support.
Alternatively, mixing up the tasks online and the proportion of individual/group work can help sustain engagement.
- Make sure the team have clear log in details and are in a quiet environment.
- Do a tech check BEFORE the session or get individuals to log in early.
- Do an intro session of key features (you can use our templates below) to minimise disruptions on the day.
Resources for running remote workshops
- Intro to Miro template board – This will add you to the My Best Life testing team and board. Please make a copy of the board, so everyone can use it. Then move the authorship to your team, so your team all have access. Then it’s all yours to play around it. (If you get stuck let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Miro function slides – a quick manual on the different buttons in Miro created by Founders and Coders.