The Lightning Decision Jam is a workshop to solve any problem

Clear decision-making is what separates good teams from the best. The problem with anything that requires creative and critical thinking however, is that it’s easy to get lost, lose focus and fall into the trap of having useless, open-ended, unstructured discussions.

Enter the Lightning Decision Jam, a simple way to collect problems and make decisions - fast. This is how it works:

UX design
Step 1

Start with what’s working

Identify and acknowledge the strengths and successful aspects of the current situation.

Start by visualising your team's progress and positive elements with a creative exercise. Using the sailboat, write down successful elements and positive experiences related to your current project, or business as a whole if you're taking a wider context.

This step encourages team members to reflect on what is working well, fostering a positive mindset and laying a constructive foundation for identifying areas of improvement.

It’s crucial to keep this phase focused and succinct, allowing each participant to share without sparking discussions, thus maintaining a positive and forward-looking atmosphere.

For example, you might list:

  • "the project started really well"
  • "we've found great interest from customers"
  • "ideas so far are really innovative!"

It’s crucial to keep this phase focused and succinct, allowing each participant to share without sparking discussions, thus maintaining a positive and forward-looking atmosphere.

Step 2

Identify challenges

Collectively list down all the challenges, concerns and problems currently faced.

Next, switch gears to a more critical examination of the project or situation. Reflect on what challenges, concerns or problems you or the team are experiencing. Write these under the sailboat. This silent reflection ensures that all voices are heard without the influence of group discussions, which can sometimes suppress individual opinions or insights.

For example, you might list:

  • "we've really lost momentum"
  • "our deadline is fast approaching"
  • "I think we could be working together better"

This visual act of identifying problems helps in making abstract concerns more tangible, setting the stage for prioritising and tackling these issues systematically.

Step 3

Reframe as challenges

Prioritise and reframe identified problems into actionable challenges.

After capturing all the problems, the next step involves prioritising these issues to focus on the most critical ones.

Use a voting system with tally-marks to allow team members to mark the problems they believe are most pertinent. If you're in a team, have three tallies per person. The top-voted problems can now be reframed them into standardised challenges using a “How Might We” (HMW) format. You only want two or three.

This reframing turns problems into open-ended challenges that invite creative thinking and solution generation. This step is essential for moving from a problem-focused mindset to a solution-oriented approach, making the challenges seem more approachable and solvable as a team.

Step 4

Ideate solutions

Brainstorm a wide range of solutions for the reframed challenges without discussion.

With challenges clearly defined, the next stage is to generate as many solutions as possible. Team members individually write down their ideas, focusing on quantity over quality to encourage a broad spectrum of solutions. This silent ideation phase prevents 'groupthink' and ensures a diverse range of solutions.

After the brainstorming, allow the team to see the collective creativity at work. This process emphasises the importance of individual contribution to the collective effort and prepares the team for the next step of prioritising these solutions.

Step 5

Decide what to execute on

Evaluate and choose the most impactful and feasible solutions to implement.

The final step involves evaluating the brainstormed solutions to decide which ones to act upon. Introduce an Effort/Impact scale to assess each solution's feasibility and potential impact, facilitating a visual and collaborative decision-making process. This method helps identify "sweet-spot" solutions that are both impactful and achievable with reasonable effort.

For these selected solutions, define actionable steps that can be taken within a short timeframe, typically two weeks, aiming for quick wins that validate the solutions' effectiveness. This structured approach not only streamlines the decision-making process, but also ensures that the team moves forward with a clear plan of action, ready to tackle the challenges with practical solutions.

Examples may include:

  • "in two weeks time, we've gained momentum by having a tighter project plan, assigned to each member of the team, finishing in a demo"
  • "in two weeks time, Phil has identified and moved some low-value tasks into future sprints, to make our deadline more achieveable"
  • "in two weeks time, we've gone on an all-team lunch at Francos - Chris will organise!"

Actions need to note who is responsible and the steps needed to deliver the change. And that's it! Revisit in two weeks time and run another workshop if you need it.

Book yours today

Uncover problems and make decisions - fast

Book a demo and get a look at:

How Skysoclear works
What the Lightning Decision Jam is
How we’re different from agencies, freelancers and in-house design teams
Initial insights on your current situation
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