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Sophie Freiermuth

Director at Baguette UX

About

My name is Sophie, I introduce myself as a UX designer and I provide user experience, product development and agile practices expertise, delivered to my clients in a blend of designing, coaching, mentoring and training.

My input helps teams get to elegant, buildable and high performing design solutions, find their focus, smooth their dynamics and engage in successful behaviours and processes, in order to deliver products that delight customers and keep the business in business.

Working with product teams all over the world, including many widely distributed teams, my practices are adapted to each business and team's unique set-up, making a success of time zones and cultural differences.

Talk Details

Running asynchronous workshops

Collaboration has taken a very directive turn over the last couple of decades, aided by the development of clever online tools. It used to be “Put everyone in a room with paperboards and coffee, and all together we do...”, then it became “Put everyone in a video call with a digital whiteboard”. The fundamental spin? Always a variant of “brainstorming”, that now debunked hyper productive method of extracting the best insights from everyone present, at the same time.

Colocation, then digital colocation are always paired with synchronicity. So we find times in packed calendars, we optimise efficiency by trying to fit in as much as is humanly possible and then some more, and we make colleagues in other time zones join at the “most convenient” time, which can be 5.30am. It’s time to drop the pretence that synchronicity is the only way to efficiently work, and switch to asynchronous practices. 

In this talk, I will present how I work asynchronously with my teams and clients, and in particular how I run asynchronous workshops using digital whiteboards. With teams in multiple countries and time zones, and a very,  very busy calendar, it was clear to me that was needed. What tilted the scales towards "obvious" was that I focus best at unconventional hours. 

I will share with you a process to organise and run an asynchronous “workshop”, and some advice to manage participants' surprise; not everyone is happy at innovative, unconventional-yet practices. My approach leverages the power of organisation, information architecture and today's digital tools capabilities, and will show where asynchronicity is critical, and where we still need to be all together in the same room, with pizzas slid under the locked door.