Communication is greatly affected when the environment changes or when a project has developed to a point of inception. In a classroom environment, communication is more analytical than when we are in a social environment when communication is much more open and free flowing.
When we have been discussing our prototype and what we want to produced, state change is a big factor and one that changes the way we communicate. We have gone through a whole list of things we want to test in our prototyping, from what we want to communicate to how we intend on getting people involved to what our prototype will demonstrate. We first started with breaking down our point of view to the core components and underlying messages. We tried to look at our project from all angles. Our first message is to try and demonstrate how networks are useful and how strengthening communication channels improved these networks. Communicating these problems from different perspectives was a major breakthrough in coming up with possible scenarios. We tried to use all our senses to uncover different outcomes such as writing, talking, listening, drawing and role playing to come up with possible solutions but they were all pretty mediocre solutions so we moved outside. Once we moved outside our thinking become much more open and our communication followed suit. We were able to take fragments of each other’s ideas and link them with each other. We were no longer solution focus but more outcome focused which allowed us to progress.
The length of time working together has also allows team members to become more comfortable and aware of communication differences. Time also allows everyone to find their feet and their preferred place in the team. Being comfortable and aware of your environment allows creativity to flow and experimentation becomes easier when the fear of failure is not an issue.
Throughout the project our communication channels have really opened up and we are now able to communicate through channels which previously created barriers. Our face to face meeting are now more productive and have actually decreased in length. At the beginning of meetings we discuss outcomes for the meetings, write them down and then cross them off when they have been addressed. Everyone has clear deliverables, with specified timeframes and channels in which to deliver them with work split according to people’s strengths and skill sets.
Due to the large number of people in our team, effective communication has been difficult. Though experimenting with different forms of communication this has greatly improved our effectiveness. Our team communication is by no means perfect but through adaptability and flexibility we been able to progress through the varying stages of design thinking and make it work.