Leeds GovJam 2019 has happened, and what a jam! With some 50 participants plus an enthusiastic team of volunteers, ODI was buzzing.
Jammers went through the standard phases of the GovJam experience – complete bewilderment on learning the theme, generation of mountains of post-it note ideas and concepts, problem definition, user research, abandonment of the first idea, refinement, solution ideation, prototyping and show not tell. Wowzer!
Twinjamming happened with Blackpool and London GovJams. After a shaky start trying to do this as a big group, we reconsidered options and the idea of having 121 twinjams with a rep from each a group and an expert from each location (Si Wilson from Leeds and Martin Jordan from London) proved a complete success. This approach is definitely some important learning for future twinjams.
Teams were really engaged and proactive in approaching the volunteers for advice, guidance and to test out their ideas. As a set of volunteers we were really pleased with this and happy to work with the volunteers to help them develop their ideas and prototypes.
Collaboration went well, it seemed everyone had an opportunity to get involved.
We have a full house at Leeds GovJam ready for 2 full days of ideas, solutions, testing, prototypes and finding ways to address public sector challenges!
Only 1 weekend to go before Leeds GovJam!
On 22nd and 23rd October we will be at ODI, Leeds to work together on finding innovative, customer focussed solutions to some of the challenges faced by the public sector.
It’s about working together, working at pace and sharing. GovJam is great fun, enabling you to work with new people without fear of being forced to ‘network’.
Come and join us, we’d love to meet you. Book now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leeds-gov-jam-2019-tickets-66929037553
Wow! Where did the time go? Leeds GovJam is fast approaching – it’s next week!
It’s nearly time to get involved in a fun, friendly and fast paced couple of days where we will be learning by doing and sharing.
Supported by volunteers, you will work in teams on projects that you will design using a range of design methods. Please browse previous blogs on this website to learn more about these.
Not only do you learn and share skills, but it’s a great networking opportunity as well.
Don’t miss this opportunity, it’s only thirty quid for 2 days of learning and we will even provide food and drink!
To book your place visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leeds-gov-jam-2019-tickets-66929037553
You’ve framed a problem, but how do you know it’s the right problem? Is it even a problem at all? At Govjam you will go out into the community and conduct some user research to test your idea.
To do this, you will need to prepare. You will need to consider the interviewees’ experience when planning this work:
– Who will ask the questions?
– Who will capture the answers?
– How will the answers be captured EG recording, writing down?
– What permission will be needed from the interviewees?
– How many people from your group are going to take part?
– How many questions will you realistically expect people to answer?
Think about how you will explain the issue you are researching to someone who has never met you before.
Design the questions in plain English so that people are not confused by ambiguous words or jargon.
Test your questions out of one the mentors to ensure they work on someone who isn’t in your group.
Try to keep your questions open so that people are free to tell you what they really think. Closed questions will limit what people can tell you. Here’s an example:
– Do you attend arts events?
– Tell us about the last arts or community event you went to
Try not to ask multiple questions in one, for instance:
– Tell us about the last arts event you went to, why you went there and whether you’d do it again.
This can lead to the interviewee feeling overwhelmed and unable to think of what to say. Keep it simple, and break it down to the key things you want to know about. You can drill down into the detail of the answers as the conversation flows, using the occasional closed question to clarify things. Eg:
– Tell us about the last arts or community event you went to
‘I went to Leeds pride parade recently, does that count?’
– Yes, what made you decide to attend it?
‘A friend had been before and invited me along’
– Would you have gone without that invitation?
‘I don’t think so’
And so on ….
Try to capture what people tell you in their own words so you get the real meaning and sentiment behind it. It’s tempting to paraphrase to fit your own assumptions, but try hard not to.
What do their non-verbal signals tell you? For instance, their gestures, facial expression or tone of voice. This can be especially revealing.
When you get back to the rest of the group, report back your findings and use them to refine your problem statement. Don’t worry if you learn that the problem doesn’t exist, and you need to start a new one. This is all part of the learning!
Further reading: Try Design Kit by IDEO for a range of methods http://www.designkit.org/methods
Book your tickets and get involved! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leeds-gov-jam-2019-tickets-66929037553
So you’ve got the theme, but what does it mean? In groups, you will work together to frame the problem. But how?
Govjam won’t prescribe the way in which you approach this, but we’d suggest you try having a stab at just writing a statement about what the problem is. This blog just picks a random theme as an example, yours could be anything!
You could start by writing up your assumptions about the problem, for instance ‘people are too busy to take part in community arts events’. You can then start to unpick it, for instance:
– which people?
– what do we mean by ‘too busy’?
– why are people busy?
– what is the impact of not attending community arts events?
You can then consider framing your question as a ‘how might we’ question, for instance:
‘how might community arts events attract people who commute away from the area?’
You can then continue to challenge it – for instance, why does it matter that the community arts events attract more people? Is this about sustaining a community arts group? What is the benefit of that art group anyway?
You can use a popular technique known as the Five Whys to really get to the bottom of why your group thinks this is a problem. It means literally asking ‘why?’ five times:
‘People are too busy to attend community arts events’
‘People have long working days’
‘People have to commute, which adds time onto the working day’
‘People think there aren’t enough job opportunities in the local community’
‘This is a small, rural community and our traditional industries are in decline’
‘Demand for those traditional products has fallen, but our local arts sector is starting to pick up’
Now you can see the question is really about sustaining a new arts economy, which puts a whole different complexion on the problem!
Up for the challenge? Book your ticket now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/leeds-gov-jam-2019-tickets-66929037553
A personal view by Salma Azfal
Have you ever found that some people approach a challenge or a problem differently? Do you wish you could tackle a problem with a range of approaches and generate lots of ideas?
Leeds Gov Jam is an amazing opportunity to experience working differently and learn new behaviours and techniques that you can use in your work and life. You won’t be alone, there are 100 plus cities all over the world trying to solve the same problem and makepublic services better. You could be one of these amazing people.
Taking part in a Jam as a participant has been an amazing experience and it gave me the confidence to write my first blog and share my experience. You can read about it –I learned ALOT in my first jam
It’s an opportunity to work outside your comfort zone with strangers who can go on to become lifelong friends, confidante or even mentors. You are given a blank canvas and with an open mind and some blue sky thinking, you can create something brilliant and magical to share with the world, either alone or as part of a self-organised team.
So if you’re highly curious take the opportunity of two days of intense learning of fun, innovation, creativity – a JAM-TASTIC experience!
I love to Jam as the jam ethos is #doingnottalking. It’s a hands on practical way of how I can be more human focused in my work by applying design thinking tools and techniques, continuously improving and refreshing my skills to work in new ways.
By jamming, I feel part of a global Jam community, always collaborating, sharing ideas, innovating and learning from each other in a creative way. It doesn’t matter what job you do, or what your background is, I’d encourage everyone to Jam. You get to work on community issues, meet loads of lovely people, play with Lego and have lots of fun why wouldn’t you want to be part of a global experience…
Through jamming I’ve met so many wonderful and talented jammers from different walks of like that I’m still in contact with. I can’t imagine not ever being part of this community… This year I’m part of the Leeds Gov Jam organising team and look forward to welcoming and supporting jammers on the day and beyond – in FUTURE jams.
Anyone can take part in a Jam. Are you up for the challenge to improve public sector services across the world on a global scale? Either book your ticket or gift it to a friend. Come and join us please – we wait to welcome you.