It can become difficult with distributed teams. People need to get confident in working remotely and the right tools can enable this. The success of a remote design thinking process depends on many factors. Let us explore the main success aspects and a practical case we have remotely done with a customer.
What does influence the success of a remote design thinking session?
Good agenda, thorough planning
Practice the tech beforehand to identify possible failure points. Consider having a plan B. Choose which tool to use for each specific activity and keep a community feeling alive. Also, make sure everyone has the necessary applications installed. In the first step, right at the beginning, the team needs to define the problem. Each team member should do their portion of the research, collecting insights from various sources, e.g. also from user interviews. All findings are afterward stored to one place that is accessible by all team members.
Good team setup
Design thinking is not rocket science. Teams need to own some methods, know the right tools, be open-minded for new ways of problem-solving. Unleash participants’ potential. Often, participants are afraid to speak up also because they do not know each other well. Staying connected and energizing each other can be the solution.
Skilled facilitation crucial
Having a skilled facilitator involved influences the dynamics of the entire group interaction and collaboration. Generally, we advise avoiding running remote workshops alone. Enlist others as co-facilitators e.g. discussion leads. A skilled design thinking facilitator teaches, guides and enables the team members, determines methods and tools and directs the interaction towards the result. What is also good to do, is to assign roles in advance (RACI). The number of participants impacts how you coordinate interactions, e.g., group discussion vs. breakout groups/rooms. He or she states clear goals and objectives.
Wise choice of collaboration tools There are many possibilities, it is crucial to assess what your targets are, what do you expect to achieve, and which of the tools will fulfill this purpose the best.