Using a team documentary in your next service design project [Inside 31Volts]

A team documentary is a very effective tool that helps you communicate how your service design project evolved. Recording a team documentary might sound easy, but there are definitely some things you want to keep in mind to make your team documentary really useful.

Make people feel comfortable

The first thing you should keep in mind is to make the person who will be answering the questions feel comfortable. It’s important that someone feels comfortable in front of the camera, because you will really see it in the material. You want to have the most natural response and see the people who are giving the answers. It’s about authenticity and personability. When people are comfortable they will show more of themselves. Don’t interrogate them with questions, but try to have a conversation. Also, try to use a small camera like a ‘flipcam’ to capture the footage. This way the camera isn’t too much ‘in their face’, so they can relax and tell you all about their experiences.

Example: Take something like a flipcam. Hold it next to your face instead of in front of your face, and try to have a conversation about, for instance, the workshop someone’s just attended, or the assignment he just finished.

Asking ‘good’ questions

Of course you are asking people questions for your team documentary. But you wouldn’t want to ask just any random question. The key things about good questions is that, undoubtedly, they are open questions. So answering with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ isn’t sufficient. It’s even better when your open questions tap into someone’s past experience. It’s not only about what he or she thinks, but what they actually felt and experienced.

Example: A good question at the end of a workshop would be ‘What did you do today?’, ‘What was the most inspiring part for you?’ or ‘What was your biggest challenge today?’. With this you’re trying to figure out what someone’s experience was and you’re trying to hear what was important to them.

use a small 'flipcam'

Capture the whole process

For your team documentary you want to capture your team’s experiences over time. Just documenting the first workshop or session won’t be enough to tell the story. The good thing about having a lot of material over time, is that it will show progress. When you capture the start and end, it’s just two single moments. The more moments you are able to capture in between, the more progress you will see over time. You can see how your team grows and evolves.

Capture the energy of the team

Make sure you capture the energy in your team and in your project. Nothing tells the story better than people who are working on it! So find the moments during your workshops, sessions and fieldwork where you can capture some of struggles and the excitement.

What questions do you ask your project team that would fit into a team documentary? Let us know!

Inside 31Volts (subscribe on youtube) is all about service design tools & methods, and their characteristic traits: the things you wish you would have known before you started your service design project.

Marc Fonteijn

Marc Fonteijn

Als medeoprichter van 31Volts houdt Marc zich bezig met het verleggen van grenzen binnen service innovatie. Marc helpt organisaties om waarde te creëren voor hun klanten door middel van design.

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