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Document & Share Work


Introduction

Designers document everything. You never know what will turn out to be important for a team or for your studio. Having good records of the work that your teams have done helps you track studio progress, give effective support to teams, and tell an amazing story of your studio.

Output: A documentation plan where team and studio goals are aligned & 1-2 updates to your network about studio/project progress.

Effective ways to document and share work:

  1. Decide how your studio will share and document work this term.
    • Think about sending regular newsletters to studio network, sending a social media update of team progress, sharing team progress update to leads and mentors, share studio highlights at the end of the term, etc.
    • Document your studio's work to:
      • Share work with mentors to get connected to implementation resources and support.
      • Keep track of team progress to quickly identify and support roadblocks.
      • Sustain your organizational memory.
      • Builds a culture of documentation and sharing amongst teams.
  2. Set a feasible schedule for teams to update their progress.
    • Monthly deliverables typically include visuals and major project findings and teamwork (especially when they are in the field).
    • Bi-weekly deliverables typically include quick update on your accomplishments, goals for next week, upcoming roadblocks.
      • Depending on your timeline, consider weekly check-ins instead.
  3. Finalize the plan with your teams.
    • Align team and studio goals: “Why should teams share their work?”
      • Regular check-ins will help teams receive feedback often, and excited your users and community partners about the work you are doing! Keeping regular contact with your users come in handy when teams start to test and implement.
    • What type of deliverables are you looking for?
      • Roadblocks and questions that the team needs help on, achievements from the last meeting, written insights from the synthesis session, visuals describing main insights, pictures of prototypes or from studio events, a picture of your team etc.
    • Agree on a storage system with teams.
      • It is usually easiest to use something that your school already uses like google drive or dropbox.
  4. Follow through and share your work!
    • A good update is short & sweet, tells a clear story of the work, and has a clear call to action so there is a tangible way to get involved!
    • Don’t forget to share it with your DFA fellows so they can share them with the entire network as well :^)
      • Studio leads send their bi-weekly goals to DFA National! These include project goals and studio goals. If you ask for bi-weekly deliverables, you can integrate the updates with National’s biweekly Studio Updates.
      • Send us your visuals or post on your social media and we can share it with the network on ours!
    • If you find that a team is struggling, checkout “Facilitate team progress to overcome roadblocks” for tips on helping teams overcome their roadblocks and progress onwards!

Network Best Practices

Create a monthly newsletter to give an update of team and studio progress like DFA Virginia Tech

In this newsletter, DFA Virginia Tech includes each project and their progress. If a team has an ask, it is included as well so if a mentor/professor receiving the newsletter knows how to help, they can contact the team right away. It also includes an information from an event they held!


Share your mid-term progress on social media like DFA MSU

MSU keeps an active presence on their facebook page where they announce studio events, share project progress, or highlight members in their studio. Before they went on spring break, the studio shared what happened over the past couple months with the network. Check out their post here!