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How do I improve ideas?

4.12.2013 | 3 minutes of reading time

Have you ever created idea that was really good?

Can you remember the moments, when you presented your ideas for first time?

What have you felt then? Have you ever been afraid of criticism?

Could you remember the cases, when your idea was not accepted, not because it was bad, but just because of politics?

If so, then possibly you will be intrigued to learn about a technique that helps to improve your ideas, but without being criticized?
So, let me introduce the Perfection Game.

The Perfection Game

It works as follows:

  • First, you present your idea or object to improve;
  • Then you ask other people to evaluate it on scale from 1 to 10. The evaluation depends on how much it is possible to improve the idea;
  • They present their evaluation and say: My evaluation is X out of 10;
  • After that, they state, what they really like about the idea;
  • And, really important, they present their improvements: what needs to be done, in order to reach 10 out of 10.

Rules of the Game

There are several rules of the Perfection Game.

If you would like to have your ideas improved, then be ready:

  • To really listen to all suggestions;
  • accept suggestions without discussions and dismissing them as not suitable;
  • ask clarifying questions or question in order to get more information.

If, on other hand, you are evaluating an idea in Perfection Game, then be ready:

  • To provide positive criticism – namely, what you like, and what should be done to achieve 10 out of 10;
  • do not say, what you do not like or what is not suitable due to other reasons;
  • do not take away points, if you cannot not suggest an improvement.

That means that you should give 10 points, even if you do not like something, but see no way to improve it;

  • do not take away points, if you just don’t like something, without solid reasons;
  • provide additional information and explanations.

How does the Perfection Game look in Practice?

For example, you would like to improve the user group meeting.Then, at the end of the meeting, reserve about 30 minutes time and say:

“Thank you for coming today.

We would like our meetings to always be lively and interesting for participants. Could you please provide feedback, and evaluate our meeting today on scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means that meeting was worthless and 10 – that meeting was really great.

Please take away the points, only if you have specific improvements. You could take away a different number of points for different improvements.

As well, please state what you liked about the meeting.”

Evaluation could look as follows:

“I give you 7 points out of 10.

What I really liked were the location of meeting, good exchange of ideas and the mix of participants.

In order to get 10 out of 10, I would give 2 points for having some snacks during the meeting and 1 point for better time management”

What is really important when playing the Perfection Game?

  • Explain the rules clearly and provide the examples.
  • Ask participants to prepare suggestions independently, and do not allow exchange during the preparation.
  • Pay attention and ask questions.
  • Note all suggestions.
  • Implement the suitable suggestions.

The Perfection Game is just one of Core Protocols – a set of techniques helping to improve team productivity that were designed by Jim McCarthy.

If you would like to experience the Perfection Game, learn more about Core Protocols, or about any aspect of agility, then you are welcome at Agile Round Table (Agiler Stammtisch) Frankfurt.

The next one will happen in Frankfurt at 5 December 2013, at Die Zentrale in 19:00.


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