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  • #27: Why I'm Crazy for Crazy 8's

#27: Why I'm Crazy for Crazy 8's

Use this collaborative design sprint technique to generate ideas

I don’t know about you, but I get so much energy from cross-functional collaboration. I love the magic that emerges from diverse perspectives.

This week, I was at Kajabi HQ for a product onsite and the magic was flowing ✨

One if the trickiest parts of group projects is finding a way to allow each stakeholder an equal opportunity to share their ideas. Often, the loudest person in the room overtakes the conversation.

This is why I’m crazy about Crazy 8’s (the ideation technique, not the card game).

In today’s edition, we’ll cover how to use this technique to run an effective collaboration session.

Unleash Your Creativity

The Crazy 8's technique has become a cornerstone of the Design Sprint methodology. Traditionally, it’s used to boost idea generation on Day 2 of the sprint, the sketching and brainstorming day.

But, the best part of Crazy 8’s is that it’s not just for designers - anyone can use it, and it’s super quick to pickup! I’ve used Crazy 8’s to generate ideas on a wide range of PMM projects, from product naming to adoption campaigns.

The goal is simple: sketch eight unique ideas in eight minutes. By providing this sandbox and time constraint, you’re able to stimulate the brain to think outside the box.

This exercise can be done in person or remote, which makes it a super accessible technique to add to your toolkit.

Running a Crazy 8's Session

Ready to get those ideas flowing? Here’s how to facilitate a Crazy 8’s session with your own team.

1️⃣ Prep: Give each teammate an 8.5” x 11” piece of plain paper and ask them to fold it into eight sections. Alternatively, you can use sticky notes if you have those handy (personally, I prefer one larger piece of paper).

2️⃣ Time: Start a timer for eight minutes and let the ideation begin. Each person should sketch out eight different ideas based on the theme of the brainstorm. For example, if it was a product naming exercise, each person would write out eight different potential names for your new feature. If it was an adoption campaign, you may be ideating on different techniques to nudge customers towards product usage. It’s really important to let your imagination run wild during this stage - no idea is a bad idea.

3️⃣ Share: Now it's time to collab. Each team member should share their sketches with the rest of the team, walking through each concept. This exchange of ideas should be fast-paced, but don’t hesitate to stop if there’s a dynamic discussion. The room will most likely build with excitement as people see patterns emerge.

4️⃣ Vote: After everyone’s had the chance to share, it's time for the group to vote on the ideas they believe could be viable solutions. You can make dots with a pen or use stickers to make your selections - each person should vote for their top three ideas.

5️⃣ Cluster: Most likely, a few key ideas will rise to the top. If you’re in person, tape all of the ideas on a wall, and have the room reflect on the similarities and differences that they notice. Physically move the related sketches closer to each other and give each cluster a name (this part is easier if you’ve used sticky notes).

6️⃣ Prioritize: Once you’ve narrowed it down to the most popular ideas, it’s time to prioritize. You can use a simple prioritization grid that contrasts impact vs effort.

Working remote? It’s totally possible to run Crazy 8’s with a virtual team. Just use an online whiteboard tool like Miro to run through the process I listed above. Miro even has a pre-built Crazy 8’s template you can use!

What other collaboration techniques do you use to drive idea generation? Would love to add them to my toolkit.