Round Robin

Round Robin Ideation

What is a Round Robin workshop?

This workshop tactic helps you develop your teammates' ideas quickly. For example, when you already have a rough outline of an idea, but you're ready for it to evolve into something more robust.

Thinking of what the next 'version' of the idea is will help you progress towards a fully formed solution. Collaboration doesn’t get more ruthlessly efficient than this.

This tactic works well with Crazy Eights beforehand to build a list of initial ideas to work on. Try Idea Beetle or Rose, Thorn, Bud afterwards to evaluate and improve your best ideas together.


Round Robin Miro Template


How to run a Round Robin workshop

1. Give each person a large sheet of paper. Ask them to fold their piece of paper so that it is divided into four equal sections.

2. With the paper in portrait, ask the group to write the name of their idea and the problem it solves at the top.

3. Give them five minutes to draw their idea in the top left box with enough detail that someone can understand it without explanation.

4. Afterwards, instruct everyone to pass their paper to the person on their left.

5. The next person should look at the previous idea and develop it further, drawing their version in the next section of the paper. Additionally, they can include a statement about why the previous idea would fail.

6. Carry on doing this until all the sections of the paper are full.

7. Put the final ideas into a T-Bar Format and present them back to the group.

8. Decide which ideas to evaluate with Blind Vote. If you have a lot of ideas, consider prioritising them with Impact Effort Map.

Origin: Vedros K.R., 1979

Not sure if this is the right approach for your team at the moment? Try a different idea generation workshop. Then, you can try an evaluation tactic to help you ensure you’ve got the right ideas/solutions.

Tips, tricks and tools for virtual Round Robin workshops

Tips

So you want to run a remote Round Robin online, but not sure where to start? First, make sure the topic is divided into manageable chunks if you’re working online.

If you’re drawing online, start with a 20-min squiggle birds (see number 2 on this list of icebreakers) session to get everyone warmed up on their trackpad/mouse drawing skills - and accept that it’s all going to look like kids drawings (and that’s fine!).

Tricks

Avoid the awkward “who wants to go first” by doing it yourself and then taking it in turns in order of the participants in the list.

Tools

Next, think about the technical ability within the group. Are they all hot-shot tech whizzes? Great! Use Miro. Or, if you’re already using them, Figma and Coda work well too.

If your group isn’t comfortable with tools like Miro and Figma, consider some pre-work or icebreakers that will help ease them into it.

No time for that before your session? You can get everyone to contribute in Google Docs or Slides. For example, give everyone a numbered document within a shared folder, and then tell them to navigate to the next number to add their input at the end of each five-minute section.

Finally, check out our How to facilitate a remote workshop without feeling awkward blog for more top tips.

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Round Robin is one of 54 workshop recipe cards inside the Workshop Tactics card deck.

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