Define the elements/features


// Description

Arrived at this point you should have understood who you want to involve and what you want to accomplish/obtain. It is now time to start defining how to run your co-design session. Before defining the tools that you are going to use, that we will see in depth in the next tip Find the right tools, you should think about the base and the frame of your activity.

Who are you going to work with?

In case you won’t be alone it is a good practice to define the roles during the collaborative activity. Arguably there will be a supervisor/leader, some moderators, some people recording the activity (like a photographer or cameraman). Defining these roles is certainly important, because it will help you organizing the work flow and it will support you throughout the entire process.

How much time are you planning to commit to this session?

In practical terms, how long is the collaborative activity going to last? Obviously there are plenty of variables that will shape this answer, starting from the amount of time that you want/can dedicate, but first of all you have to think about the typology of participants. Always keep in mind that keeping the attention and commitment level of a group of people is a very arduous task. Anyhow, it all depends on the involvement of your community and the rewards you are offering them. If these variables are high, then you may want to involve them for longer periods. If, on the other hand, the motivation of your participants is not well-founded, then you shouldn't ask them a long and tiring effort, since it may compromise their future involvement.

Now, let’s say that you have decided to focus your activity in one day only, for about 5 hours. We suggest you to go back to the previous tip Point out the desired outcomes and double check if your goals may presumably be reached in your schedule and time frame. We know that you may not have enough elements or experience to define a proper necessary time, but a rough double check is going to be more than enough for now.

What is the age span of the participants?

Answering this question is going to be crucial in order to understand in which moment of the day you may want to insert your activity. If you are addressing adults and workers, then it would be better to schedule your session during the week end or, if this is not possible, in the evening, right after the working day. If, instead, you are addressing elderly people, choosing a morning within week days would be more than fine.

Once you will have got all the answers you will have defined important elements, such as duration, dates, roles, that are going to be precious for further steps.

// In other words

  • Define the roles for the session among people of your team;

  • Schedule roughly how long the activity is going to last;

  • Delineate a suitable moment of the day for the co-design session.

// opencare experience

When we had to define these elements in order to structure our co-design session we started answering those questions simultaneously.

Since our involvement regarded different people, from different communities, we immediately understood that it was crucial to find a moment in the day that could be fine for all the participants. In our specific case we involved adults, teenagers and also elderly people, therefore we thought that the best option could be planning the activity during the evening, specifically from 18 to 21.

We also realized that the expected outcome required an amount of work and involvement that would have not been possible in just one day. Therefore we scheduled the activities in two days.

First day - Wednesday 4/05/2016

We planned to introduce the project to all the participants, and to divide everyone in 3 working groups, in order to think, analyze and select their personal needs related to care, in a very broad way.

See Our experience in co-design field for more details.

With this planning in our mind, we defined our roles within the session, by allocating at least one moderator and one analytical observer in each group, in order to lead the activity and to record/analyze all the actions and behaviours of the people.

Second day - Wednesday 11/05/2016

We presented the results of previous session and we divided once again in different groups according to the interests of participants. Everyone of our team followed and recorded the groups, helping them to reach our main goal: finding at least one solution for one of the needs encountered during the first day.

All in all the accurate planning and division of the roles, before (preparation of tools, contacts with participants, definition of the catering for aperitif, exc.) and during (leading the session, taking signatures for privacy reasons, recording the activity, exc.) the collaborative meeting, was fundamental for its success.

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