In last month’s Coaches’ Corner, we covered using the Theme feature to group thoughts from your exchange into themes. This month, we’re taking a step back from the nuts and bolts to share some tips and ideas on using Theme to make data-driven decisions.
We often see Top Thoughts as a quick snapshot of what’s most important to the group. While those top thoughts are important, remember that these thoughts are one piece of the big picture.
Sorting the pieces and putting them together in themes can help you really understand the results, take action and ultimately make progress. This small but significant step encourages you to look at the thoughts from a different perspective and build upon what the exchange is telling you. It gets you seeing the forest for the trees.
🤔 Food for thought
We use this very same process to prioritize new features for our software.
Often, we'll participate in an exchange to share feedback and recommended product improvements as part of our software development cycle. We then meet as a team to go through the thoughts and theme them to prioritize “must have” and “nice to have.”
By the end of the process, we have clear visual data (in both a themed thoughts list and a pie chart) to deliver to our Product Management team for review and consideration.
- We often hear people say, “There are so many thoughts, I’m not sure where to begin.” If that’s what you’re experiencing, try starting with the Auto Themer in Thoughtexchange Labs. This will automatically and objectively (autojectively?) give you the keywords and top themes that came out of your exchange. Use this as a jumping off point to theme your thoughts.
- Remember - there’s wisdom in crowds. Consider meeting with a working group or leadership team after the exchange to review the thoughts and theme together. This can be a powerful way to take a deeper look at the thoughts for patterns.
- For suggestions on the different approaches to theming, take a look at this article on guidelines for best practices for theming.
And the possibilities don’t end there! You can also use some of the ideas and examples above to inspire your own themes. In fact, we'd love to hear your ideas!