Tuesday, March 11, 2008

John Sedgwick makes a good point in a comment about Tuesday, March 4th's posting regarding using Post-It notes for idea generation and the role of the scribe. In fact, whether scribing with flip charts or on a computer, using Post-it notes when trying to capture a long list of ideas is very effective. (Having a big wall that can take lots of notes or using poster paper to cover a wall and then attach the notes are two quite effective methods for doing this.)
  • The scribe can be of great assistance here in doing some of the preliminary clustering as the ideas are stuck up on the wall, with the participants doing heavy clustering once they have stopped generating ideas.
  • Alternatively, the scribe can capture the ideas on the computer as they are called out...but this can be difficult when the ideas are coming fast and furious.
John then asks: "Now this brings up the question of dealing with these ideas, once they are themed. If we split the participants into sub-groups and allow each sub to take a cluster away, for word smithing immediately, or for some future report, what role does the scribe play in that process? Secondly, how might the scribe facilitate that, so that we get the maximum breadth of participation, but also a high degree of efficiency?"

My thoughts here are that as each subgroup reports out it's word-smithed-idea -- whether immediately or in a future session -- the scribe captures that idea just has s/he has been all along. The scribe can't capture each subgroup's deliberations, but that is probably okay. Also, as the subgroups are doing their word smithing, the scribe can support the facilitator in rotating through the subgroups to keep them on track.

Any other thoughts from readers about John's questions?

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