Week Five with Fast Track

We’re entering the final stretch now, and the teams are putting their heads down and pumping their arms to come out ahead. Nevermind the fact that one team member had three sachets of coffee in his tea-break cup; he might not sleep, but he came up with some great ideas!

After last week’s presentations, the teams were told that they should really focus in on something concrete to put toward the judges panel at the end of the Enterprise by Design process.

Every team last week had not yet come up with a product or service that they really wanted to push, or develop, and so this week we were focusing on getting those final products on paper.

One way that they would be able to do that is by generating as many ideas as possible, and selecting the best from the pile. To continue the metaphor, their ideas, like a group of runners, will separate the weaklings from the strong throughout a race.

The group work hard coming up with ideas

Enterprise by Design is more a marathon than it is a sprint, in real terms, but in University terms it’s much quicker turn-around for a project this size than many undergraduates might be used to.

In the School of Creative Studies and Media, we tend to think of ideas as being a dime a dozen; cheap and plentiful. The hard part is figuring out which of those ideas can be combined in useful and innovative ways. This is the task the students had this week.

I was working with team Fast Track this week, and, true to form, they came up with the ideas in the discussion sessions rather quickly. This was good, because it meant that more time for clarification and discussion about those ideas was possible.

I asked them how they were feeling about Enterprise by Design by now, during our coffee and tea break, and they were to a person happy with the task and week. “It’s the first week we’ve been on track”, they said. Idea generation isn’t so hard.

Sticking with an idea you aren’t sure about is difficult, though. They were unsure of themselves. I caught one of them out and said that he was censoring himself and not putting down what he was thinking and he nodded sheepishly.

But, by the end of the task, the group came together (minus one, who missed this week for illness) and got the ideas that they needed. They’re going to meet this week, hopefully, and synthesise the initial ideas together to create something really worthwhile.

Overall, they had a good week; they felt like they finally had a direction to move in. About time too! I have a feeling that most groups are in this position though, and this week they were all a little happier with their task and what’s required of them.

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