Open Wappu letter for Demola Team Members

New Factory Open 2015 (kuva: Pasi Tiitola)

As it’s Wappu time – time for celebration and soon enough for the last crunch of Demola Spring 2016 projects as well, I decided to write you all an open letter to share a little bit about the thoughts and as well advice with you.

Half a year ago in Christmas Letter for Demola Autumn 2015 team members the main message was this: might well be that the twist, step or idea that you need in order to make your project shine will be just around the corner and yet to come - when it comes to the approach and value your project brings, huge leap can still be done with moderate amount of work. Now when you are already deep in your project topic, you know your playground well.

This is just the right moment to stop for a while with the essence of the project and answer the three questions:

  • Why?
  • What?
  • To whom?

Most of Demola Milestones are now done – so the rest is up to you to finish. It was interesting to see all the pitches in Mid-pitching Event and have an overview on how your projects have developed. Depending on the project, seems that you are in various situations at the moment. For some of you, the results to come might be chrystal clear, for some of you still vague – so that wrapping it all up seems like a frightening task. Final Pitching event is is beyond one month. It’s a relatively short time, and at the same time still enough for no matter how big changes, improvements and pivots in the project. Please remember the life span of a Demola project shown as part of Jam #2 Crunch presentation. There are ups and downs in Demola projects, but the last month finally defines, what the result is like and how valuable it turns out to be.

In the Mid-pitching Event of this campaign, I was talking about the tool example. It’s related to the previous paragraph and something to think about for all of you: Let’s say your project result is a tool. If you promise that with your tool it’s equally handy to hammer the nails, saw the boards, it can be used as screw driver and monkey wrench, the value you are promising is huge. Still, before you really show your concept – what your tool looks like and how you define it, the value you promise is not credible. In the Final Pitching Event and final meetings we’d like to see as tangible and clear concepts as possible, to see what your result actually is.

Remember as well, that in addition to the internal opinions and insight of the team, you still need much external validation for the results. So do the effort, find the channels & persons, don’t be afraid to show what you have done and take the feedback openly and remembering that every feedback comes from just one person and is not an absolute truth, but worth thinking about. It’s good to incorporate this sort of feedback vow to your work:

  • I, as a feedback giver, will give my honest feedback without the need to think how it should be filtered. I will consider many different approaches and try to come up with useful information.
  • I, as the feedback receiver, will see all the feedback valuable and openly take it into consideration. I’ll remember that independently on who gives the feedback, he/she is only one human being and the responsibility on how to use the feedback relies on me.

One of the best examples about this in Demola Spring 2016 so far has been the Best Weather in The World team – not only in Testing Afternoon but generally here and there, the team has been testing their thoughts and ideas, and there hasn’t even been need for the technological prototype for this!

As it’s Wappu time and exam period is as well getting closer, we facilitators are well aware that time is scarce for you. Therefore, for all of the teams it’s essential to gather up, discuss how to arrange and handle the upcoming weeks and be efficient. As the last month is normally the most crucial for all the Demola projects, we wish good luck and are ready to give you all the needed support.

Have a great Wappu time!

On behalf of Demola Tampere Facilitators,
Ville

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