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Reflect & Plan Next Term


Now’s the time to reflect on the whole term and create change that can help your studio continue the growth and momentum! Celebrate the accomplishments made by all teams and leaders, share studio highlights, and say thank you to each other and the network!

Output: 5+ celebrations and learnings from this term and 3+ changes for next year + say thank yous to each other

Effective ways to reflect and plan next term:

  1. Decide what is most important to receive feedback on as a studio.
    • Focus on core elements your studio like project progress, team member experience, partner/mentor relationships, or workshops to receive feedback on.
  2. Get feedback.
    • Ask your members for their "I like...", "I wish...", and "I wonder...".
      • Likes: what works well; Wishes: what could be better; Wonder: how can we realize the Wish
    • Have an open feedback session or send out a short survey to members. Make sure to have feedback in a written format for easier synthesis later on!  
    • Anonymous feedback helps if members feel uncomfortable about the leadership team identifying their feedback; however, make sure the feedback is not all anonymous! You may need to follow up on some feedback to learn more later on.
  3. Synthesize feedback and reflect on the term with interested/new leads.
    • Invite your new leaders in the synthesis process! Synthesizing with new leads is a great way to help with the transition of the studio.
    • Here are some questions that can help uncover insights about the studio:
      • How do members feel about their team experience?
      • Have their process and accomplishments meet the studio’s goals?
      • How do members feel about their DFA experience?
      • What was their favorite moment and what do they wish to change?
      • Did you meet your studio goals?
      • Have they matched your planned timeline and vision? Team members: Find your team charter / timeline / vision for your project. Did teams meet their goals?
      • Did the process matched teams’ plans for the year?
  4. Plan next term with your interested/new leads and mentors.
    • Look back on “Set studio vision” to think about what changes could be made to meet your vision of where the studio will be in 3 years.
    • Are the struggles your studio is having coming from the structure, leadership team, or other sources? Does your studio have the capacity to fill a new role if created?
    • Your studio mentors are a great resource to help you create plans that will help you sustain your momentum and growth. Some of them have greater organizational memory than the leads because they have seen the studio grow.
  5. Celebrate your accomplishments from this term and thank your members and the network!
    • Check out this link to find tips on celebrating with the studio and holding a final expo, sharing studio highlights, and thanking the network! 

Network Best Practices

Get member input and involve them in the process by running a visioning workshop like DFA Rensselaer

DFA RPI sent out a survey to the members receive feedback about their DFA experience. The form includes questions about the workshops and asks for specific feedback based on the member’s roles, either a Community member of a Team member. Check out the editable form here to create a feedback form for your own studio!

The studio also worked with their DFA fellow to hold a studio visioning workshop to help set goals for their studio. The workshop was open to all members and ~15 people showed up to help give feedback on what was working and what was not, as well as paint a picture for what the studio could be in the coming years. Many members who attended the workshop went on to take leadership roles in the coming year! Download the workshop agenda here.

Encourage teams to have an honest reflection of the term and write about it like DFA MIT

If a team member wrote great feedback (either positive or negative), encourage them to have an honest synthesis of the feedback and reflection of their experience. DFA MIT posted a team lead’s blog post on their website. Consider writing your own posts that you can share with your community! See the team lead’s blog post here.