Over grits and greens at the The Farmers Daughter, Alan encouraged us to document our process. In gratitude for the visit, advice, and delicious breakfast, here’s the story of how we’re narrowing our project focus.
Over the course of February we talked to community members, both inside and outside of government. We learned about the challenges they face, and recorded what we heard. We used Trello to capture each problem on a separate ‘index card.’
At the end of February, we used the collection on Trello as a jumping off point for a synthesis meeting, where we wrote each problem statement on a post-it note, added a few, and grouped them under themes.
Rather than frame the themes in the negative, we tried to flip them to reflect the positive impact we could make if we solved the problems grouped underneath. So a group of concerns, voiced to us, like these:
“Neighborhood association leadership is aging.”
“Young residents don’t connect with their neighborhood leadership.”
“When I moved to my neighborhood I didn’t know anyone.”
were grouped under an impact statement like this:
We ended up with six possible project themes, and one bucket filled with partnership opportunities. We voted and chose two focus areas. The next day we came back and swapped one vote winner out for another theme, because as a group, we agreed our depth of research was better on that one.
The two we ended up with are the one pictured above and this one.
Next up: more research into these two area, and coming up with ideas of possible solutions to test.
Also, a dark horse! (More on the new third theme later).