How Might We (HMW) is an exercise wherein everyone comes up with questions to tackle a challenge or to solve a particular problem. Ask the decider or the whole team to talk about the biggest challenges and the goal of the project, and let everyone jot down the How-Might-We's (HMWs). Let everyone contribute who has expert knowledge.
This discussion should not take longer than 30 minutes.
If you are leading the project, be as specific about your intentions as possible. Providing the initial prompt or questions to the group is very important to set an explorative context to the workshop. Be as specific as possible about what the HMWs should be about.
Make sure everyone is actually writing.
When the discussion is finished, give the team at most 7 minutes to write down HMWs in silence.
A collection of HMW question
- 1.Vote on the most relevant HMWs. Each participant gets 4 votes whereas the decider (if there is one) gets 5. Everyone can vote with as many votes on a single idea as they want, and vote on their own ideas. This voting session should take at most 5 minutes.
- 2.Arrange voted notes into a "tree" structure in order to prioritize the ones with a higher number of votes. Read out the final results. This should take 1 minute.
An example of HMWs prioritsed
After prioritizing, move the HMWs over to the solutions canvas and ask the participants to come up with solutions. You can mention that quantity is more important than quality and that it's okay to add silly or unrealistic ideas.
Voting on solutions is identical to the previous session. Vote on the most relevant solutions. Each participant gets 4 votes whereas the decider (if there is one) gets 5. Everyone can vote with as many votes on a single idea as they want, and vote on their own ideas. This voting session should take at most 5 minutes.
Move the voted solutions to the next section and write individual post-it's underneath to specify which tasks need to be done in order to successfully complete the solution. You can also add durations to each task, which will make it easier to estimate the cost of the work later.
Use the voted solutions to distribute them on the effort/impact scale. Start from the center and align with the team on the proper position - left/right and top/bottom. Lead the conversation but make sure everyone can contribute to it.
All sticky notes in the top left (pink box) will be the most relevant.
The last step helps convert the solutions and tasks into a project proposal, including the cost and assignee.
You can start by asking the team who would like to take ownership of a solution. This doesn't mean that they have to do it all alone. They do need to make sure though that the solution gets done, even if the work will be split among multiple participants.
This process might also lead to shifting tasks to different roles. You can also frame each solution as a role.
Try estimating the duration for each solution and derive the cost of the work. Use reference points from previous project deliverables that were similar (and how much they were paid) or count the hours it takes, comparing them to the market rate of a professional doing the work.
Finally, remember to define the tasks and responsibilities of the project owner, who needs to oversee the entire process from start to finish.