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Brainstorming camp

My team just started  building a new project about finance. There are something new with us rather than other processes happened before. Here is we didn't have requirements/user stories about the project yet and we needed to work together with another team in this time. Our product manager (PM) decided to have a camp to collect the ideas in order to getting started as well as make the communication between the teams.

Firstly, our PM gave an introduction about the project to all members. Then, we decided to split and focus on four topics that we needed to discuss about them. They are:
- General information: working agreements between two teams included coding convention.
- Data model: structure of data.
- GUI design: user interface and user experience (UX).
- GUI technical framework: how data model and GUI can be worked together.

The target of each topics should be given an overview and can be shown why and how to work with chosen approach. Finally, we separated all members from our 2 teams to 4 smaller teams corresponding to above topics.

We had a whole week just for brainstorming and collecting ideas. The camp mainly involved three parts and these parts can be repeated and changed. They are 'World Café', 'Workshop'
 and 'Review'. Generally, we got inputs from all members in World Café and then we had to do something in Workshop and we got outputs in Review.

World Café is a bit new method for me. Actually, we have no coffee/cafe in this section but maybe yes in somewhere. Each team had a host. The host of his/her topic collected ideas from other members, discussed about it and took notes on a board by a mind map. After 20 minutes, the members except the host moved to other topics and the process before was repeated but new ideas and discussing was continuously contributed. So that all ideas from members from 4 teams was collected actively.

In Workshop, the members of each teams did something deeply about their topic such as researching the possible approaches, making document and creating a small demonstration.

In Review, each teams gave presentation about what they had done and answered some questions from others.

After a whole week of the camp, I saw the relationships between two teams was improved a lot and we all have an overview about the project. Even I was not sure that all topics was understood deeply or was followed to correct approach, but it was getting better and we can move to our next steps.

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