Owning the Test Plan

31.05.2017 |

Episode #9 of the course How to lead a productive and creative brainstorm by TD Haines


You’ve spent time creating choices. You’ve spent time making choices. And now you should have some very solid, actionable ideas.

So if they’re actionable, let’s get to the action now!

This will come after having gone through all your lenses, diverged, and converged.


The Cream of the Crop

Take all the top ideas and present them back to the group. Top ideas are ones that generated a great deal of conversation and feel disruptive. It is up to you to decide how many ideas you want to act on, but have more than two. This will give you variants to test, and failed attempts to solve a problem may lead to insight for future attempts if you fail forward.

If you have too many top ideas (again, that number is up to you), then resort to voting with the group. Have each person pick their top two ideas. The time for pitching is over. There is only voting now. If an idea is truly sticky, then it will get voted on.


First Steps

With your top ideas selected, start discussing the first steps for action. These may have been revealed when you were converging ideas and looking for ways to make them work. It’s ok to revisit those here. The idea is that we want to talk about action.

But it doesn’t all fall on you!


Taking Ownership

Ask people to take ownership of some next steps. You aren’t doing this to delegate the work. You are doing this to see which idea is so sticky that someone is willing to take on extra work. Also, some participants may have easier access to the resources needed to get the action rolling.

What if no one steps up?

It’s ok. It will happen from time to time. That doesn’t mean you let them off the hook. Start with recommending someone who has access to resources that can help. If they can’t take it on, then go to the idea originator. If nobody takes it on, even after you’ve personally invited them, it now lives with you.

With the ideas no one volunteers for, be aware of the friction around it.

Don’t kill the idea because no one volunteered as tribute. It could be more disruptive than they’re comfortable with. It could be that they don’t see a path ahead. But that’s why they have you! The facilitator is responsible for the big picture.



• No homework tonight! Study to prepare for the last lesson and the quiz at the end.


Recommended book

The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design by IDEO


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