Partially Attended

an irregularly updated blog by Ian Mulvany

One Two Four All - a technique for getting insights from groups.

Wed Oct 17, 2018

196 Words

I’ve started working my way through The Surprising Power of Liberating Strucutres - a hand book of techniques for collaborative work.

So far I’ve tried one technique from the book - one two four all.

The idea is super simple and is an alternative to open brain storming or post-it note sessions. Before describing the technique with a few comments, I’ll just point out one of the weaknesses of a group work activity like a group retrospective.

We have been doing a lot of retrospectives over the last year, and we usually get the team to all write up thoughts against a set of questions, and then we do a cluster analysis on the combined post-it notes. Overall this is a great technique, but it has a couple of potential down sides. This technique does not scale well once you get past about ten people. This technique gives more weight to the ideas of people who write fast, and can churn out a lot of post-it notes.

“One two four all” is an elegant mechanism that avoids both of those problems.

The way it works is that you pose one or two questions to the group.

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