Balanced Team Sunday Salon at Pivotal Labs

April 14, 2014 Jonathan Berger

This Sunday Pivotal Labs hosted a Balanced Team Sunday Salon following the three-day LeanUX NYC conference. LeanUX was chock-full of amazing talks and workshops, and the ensuing sentiment was my brain hurts! The Balanced Team Sunday Salon was a chance to recover, process, and reflect.

We started off with brunch: bagels and bellinis.

#webrunchhard at @balancedteam (with @andersramsay and @DesireeSy) pic.twitter.com/IF9yZodgKf

— jonathanpberger (@jonathanpberger) April 13, 2014

and then Mary kicked things off and set context for the day with an introduction to what Balanced Team is

Kicking off @balancedteam #btncy14! pic.twitter.com/D5CQsp4VI9 — chemphill (@chemphill) April 13, 2014

Lane then described the schedule:

.@thinknow explains the new MV version of the @balancedteam salon #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/mHOwuLuz30

— Desirée Sy (@DesireeSy) April 13, 2014

Topic generation and dot-voting.

While continuing to brunch, participants used post-its to write down suggestions for “Lean UX: What’s the Big Idea You Want to Talk About?”

@balancedteam suggestions about what to discuss later #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/M0qRHkACrL — Desirée Sy (@DesireeSy) April 13, 2014

Next, the crowd dot-voted (three dots per person) to rank the most popular topics, with the most popular topics informing the break-out sessions.

At the @balanceteam sunday salon with @jonathanpberger #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/0owWGksiD3

— Josh Seiden (@jseiden) April 13, 2014

the conversation is about to begin: voting @balancedteam #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/gUst0f59gu — Jason Valdina (@s1gnal) April 13, 2014

 

Breakout Group Conversations

Once the most popular topics were decided, the originator of each one found a table and other participants came and joined them for a group discussion. Everyone talked for ~30m, and each group was asked to generate some sort of artifact for public consumption. After the conversations, a member from each breakout group presented their poster to the assembled group.

What is the right level of fidelity to test an idea?

What is the right level of fidelity to test an idea? Josh and his group explored tools and methods. #BTNYC14 pic.twitter.com/nIhldojvgf

— Alexa Roman (@calexity) April 13, 2014

Creating a map for designers to validate x idea with y level of fidelity artifact @balancedteam #btnyc14 #LeanUX14 pic.twitter.com/N94cQAIj7Z — Daphne Lin (@daphnelin) April 13, 2014

 

When is Design Done?

When is design done? #btnyc14 @balancedteam pic.twitter.com/feaS5InNJ5

— jonathanpberger (@jonathanpberger) April 13, 2014

When is design done? A conversation about communication, empathy and the FUEP onion. #BTNYC14 pic.twitter.com/reRazqnlg9 — ljoy (@ljoy) April 13, 2014

 

Should Developers learn to design?

Should developers learn to design? Ouch! Developers are designers. Empower them to solve the right problems #BTNYC14 pic.twitter.com/hB9akjLSwh

— Martyn Evans (@martynrevans) April 13, 2014

How do decide which process or tool to use?

 

How to decide which process/tool to use? #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/Uu228Wthyz — Alexander Dodig (@amjec) April 13, 2014

 

Rebranding ‘Lean UX’

Creating a map for designers to validate x idea with y level of fidelity artifact @balancedteam #btnyc14 #LeanUX14 pic.twitter.com/N94cQAIj7Z

— Daphne Lin (@daphnelin) April 13, 2014

Rebranding Lean UX poster #btnyc14 @neoinnovate pic.twitter.com/blhz8Z6Tuz — Julia Bernadsky (@JuliaBernadsky) April 13, 2014

 

“How to recognize & cultivate a @balancedteam culture”

How to cultivate @balancedteam culture? @DesireeSy at #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/KvOv7IHDKA

— jonathanpberger (@jonathanpberger) April 13, 2014

“How to recognize & cultivate a @balancedteam culture” poster #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/4AFKUNkTD9 — Desirée Sy (@DesireeSy) April 13, 2014

 

What the @&#*!? is ‘Cynefin’? (It’s Complicated)

Sharing the learnings from the small groups @adrianh @balancedteam #BTNYC14 pic.twitter.com/sqM27TpqL3

— Alexa Roman (@calexity) April 13, 2014

Fishbowl

After a break and a bit more brunching, the remaining highly popular topics were used to feed the Fishbowl. A Fishbowl is a conversation format where four seats are set up for a conversation among three participants. If someone from the audience wants to speak, they come on stage, join the panel and take the fourth chair, whereupon the longest-sitting panelist retires to the audience. In this way, a democratic, collaborative group conversation can be had.

Fishbowl conversation. 3 panelists and 1 empty chair for any audience member #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/FAsqnb2SuY — Francisco Hui (@FranciscoHui) April 13, 2014

 

Isolating your innovation team can negatively impact your organization. Share the culture + open learning. #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/D7Pi0b9GZc

— Alexa Roman (@calexity) April 13, 2014

A @balancedteam feels collective ownership of the product. #btnyc14 — johanna kollmann (@johannakoll) April 13, 2014

 

“Are innovation teams a dark design pattern?” #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/S9ACDHCJcl

— lane halley (@thinknow) April 13, 2014

Design thinking in distributed teams: attitude, tools & schedule yes. Not sustainable long term. Fishbowl #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/heB3advs7W — mlukanuski (@mlukanuski) April 13, 2014

 

#fishbowl on Design Thinking with Distributed Teams at #btnyc14 @balancedteam pic.twitter.com/G9BPgAG6tT

— jonathanpberger (@jonathanpberger) April 13, 2014

“creating a backlog that provides context for the product being built is an under-appreciated art” – per @thinknow #btnyc14 @balancedteam — Jason Valdina (@s1gnal) April 13, 2014

 

Fishbowl: engaging, demographic, productive. Time to take to work thnks #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/l59nrql6ml

— mlukanuski (@mlukanuski) April 13, 2014

Co-location is a mindset. @andersramsay #btnyc14 pic.twitter.com/Ef6FGGzWd8 — Alexa Roman (@calexity) April 13, 2014

 

3 of my fav guys in the fishbowl at the balanced team Sunday salon – topic: design thinking w distributed teams pic.twitter.com/hXykZwzDAb

— Kristie Weatherford (@kristie_ux) April 13, 2014

We need to make everyone more comfortable with ambiguity #btnyc14 @adrianjank — Martyn Evans (@martynrevans) April 13, 2014

 

@irinatlee on agile processes in a traditional agency #btnyc14 #fishbowl pic.twitter.com/LQrtDu1zN4

— Francisco Hui (@FranciscoHui) April 13, 2014

Closing Circle

It was a great day of conversation, but everyone was pretty beat. And the weather outside was gorgeous! We formed up into the hallmark end of a Balanced Team event: the closing circle. Each person described one thing they’d take with them from the event, into their work.

Never went to an event that ended in a circle & we share learnings 1by1. Awesome. #btnyc14 #LeanUX14 @balancedteam pic.twitter.com/G3B0C6QE4k — Daphne Lin (@daphnelin) April 13, 2014

Finally, after a long (but exhilarating) day, we headed off to a rooftop bar to soak in some rays and enjoy each others company.

Hanging on the roof @ 230 5th with the #btnyc14 @balancedteam group! Come join! pic.twitter.com/Wtap5IOac3 — Kristie Weatherford (@kristie_ux) April 13, 2014

Thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and participants! Can’t wait ‘til next time!

About the Author

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