Visma has worked diligently to create a user-centered work environment to optimize the experiences each customer encounters. To help facilitate these efforts, UX colleagues gathered together to partake in a workshop called an Innovation Jam.
What are innovation Jams?
Innovation Jams are great ways to build team spirit, creativity and to bring forth a collaborative process during the ideation phase of product development. It is a structured brainstorming activity which can include reward-based incentives, ranking systems, or gamification. The focus of this Jam was to come up with UX activities teams in Visma can use to increase their competencies in UX. These activities will be associated to the “UX Maturity Model.” We will be publishing a follow-up article on this model, but for now, just know this will be used to inspire Visma teams to becoming UX superheros.
“Innovation Jams are great ways to build team spirit, creativity and to bring forth a collaborative process during the ideation phase of product development.”
To keep a sound structure and organization of the workshop, an agenda was set so the participants knew ahead of time what to expect. The group was split into teams and given step-by-step instructions with allotted times to complete each step. Each team was responsible for reviewing the questions used to assess various levels of competency related to the Maturity Model. Once each team was up to speed on the language being used in the assessment, their next goal was to collaboratively come up with a list of activities.
The innovation Jam Agenda printed out for participants and the team boxes with tools and instructions for the activity.
During this brainstorming session, teams were given “Activity Cards” where they could display their creative ideas. It looks something like this:
Print out Activity Cards for teams to use as a template when brainstorming ideas.
Helping teams structure their ideas is a great way to keep the organization and timing of the Innovation Jam efficient. These card templates not only help the teams as their spitting out different ideas, but they also help management compile and properly archive the results. One important tip to consider for an Innovation Jam is to create a list of rules or guidelines for brainstorming. Your list could look something like this:
This is a simple reminder of how to conduct a positive brainstorming session.
Creating a quick list of rules or guidelines will help the teams focus on the task at hand. It reminds them of what is most important when it comes to creative development and working together as a team.
Creative juices flowing in this room!
Presentation and voting
Once time expired, the teams were instructed to congregate back to the main meeting hall. Each team was given 3 minutes to present their Activity Cards to the rest of the groups. After all teams presented their best ideas, those activities were voted on by a select group of judges and prizes were given out to the most creative ideas.
Teams celebrating their victories for award-winning ideas.
Beyond the spotlight of winning a prize, the real win for this workshop was the amount of ideas and activities gathered to help support the UX Maturity Model’s assessment tool. The assessment tool will be divided into four different competency areas – UX Involvement, Timing of UX in Development, Cross-disciplinary Collaboration, and Problem Solving Focus. Each team will be asked questions related to these areas to help identify their ability to execute and work efficiently with these processes.
Stay tuned for a more detailed and juicy description of the UX Maturity Model in our next publication!