Friday, March 8, 2013

The last few weeks

A few weeks ago, me and my colleague got an opportunity to put together something for a particular group. I will be hazy on the details, for very obvious reasons, but as you will see that is not necessarily important for this post.

When we started off, we really had no clue what we were going after. We read up a bit, met people and put out a few drafts of what the program would look like. We, were obviously, not very satisfied at how that turned out, but we persisted. For a week or so, the presentation went back and forth, but with very little forward movement.

As we made progress, we reached a point of self doubt and started looking for back up options. It reflected our own lack of self confidence than anything else. But the back up options that we saw seemed to be no better.

Then, a breakthrough happened. While tossing ideas back and forth, something happened that made us re-imagine the entire way we had conceived the program. And at that point, we did not want to take the new approach, since we had thought too much about the existing one. But we did, as we uniformly agreed that this was indeed the way forward.

And then we started working on it. For days on end, crossing the t's and dotting the i's and getting the design elements right. Each day, each hour, we pushed it forward and ultimately came up with some really professional looking design elements for the program. In the meantime, we were offered gratuitous comments on how the program could be changed, modified and all that - we mostly ignored them - though we did incorporate the really good ones.

And finally the program was a success.

This is the typical learning process for anything. We start off without knowing anything about it. Then, we work on it, relentlessly, getting it right and throw everything we have at it. And finally, it all falls together. There is no miracle here. This is just the way we learn, as human beings (apropos, both the previous videos - of dreaming big and learning by doing) by dreaming big and trying.

Two big learnings, apart from this: One is that, design and content are kings - it is very important to get the look and feel and the actual innards of the content right. If done right, the curiosity and wow factor takes care of  any ensuing ennui in the program.

And second, listening to the stakeholders - many of them have a solid view into what we were up against and many of the tips and suggestions were useful in the end in getting the rough edges right.

Today, we when look back at the first draft of the program, we cringed - thinking how could have thought of something so amateurish. But, that is how it feels like, when we get something right...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be Civil. Make nice!