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ROSE has spent the last several years developing a systemized path for self improvement. It is time to take what we have learned and see what we can collectively create together. We have always wanted the Guild to do things, and we have also had repeated requests to have inter-cohort collaboration and competition. This is our way of accomplishing both.

You and your cohort may be at any point along your quest when you begin this workshop, use the navigation sidebar to jump to the stage your cohort is on. Use the last 5 minutes of the workshop to summarize your progress for the rest of your cohort, as detailed in the conclusion. If you run out of time to finish a section, continue during your next cohort meeting.

Quest Ideation

There are two routes you can travel here: brainstorming a new batch of quest ideas, or selecting an existing idea.

As a cohort, choose whether to brainstorm or select an existing idea.

Brainstorming [70 minutes]

We will be using the 'Babble and Prune' technique for idea generation. It consists of two stages:

  1. Babble: Generate an indiscriminate list of ideas with no consideration for feasibility, silliness, or "cringiness". It is vital not to be judgmental or shame these ideas; that would ruin the algorithm.
  2. Prune: analyze each idea with nuance. Most ideas will probably not be good, but try to gauge roughly how much it isn't a good idea, and if there is anything salvageable from it.

Babble [15 minutes]

Everyone, spend the next 10 minutes generating a list of possible Quests the Guild can do. Write down the minimal viable description for each. Try to come up with 5-20 ideas. Try using both focused mode and diffused mode thinking for this. Spend a few minutes brute-forcing the list, then spend a few minutes standing up and walking around to clear your mind. These two different ways of thinking can help break you out of a rut.

After 10 minutes, post your list in your Cohort channel (not the general or voice text chat). Take an additional 5 minutes to read everyone's responses, but do not respond or react yet. We will then take a break while we ruminate on them.

Break [5 minutes]

Take a five-minute break

Prune [10 minutes]

Everyone, share your top 2-3 favorite ideas from the total list of ideas generated. Include one of the less reasonable ideas and how we might be able to get something out of it (again, do not condescend anyone's ideas).

Create Quest Proposals [40 minutes]

Each person in the cohort will select one idea to champion.

Discuss the following questions about your championed idea with your cohort and record the answers here.

  1. What resources would be required for this Quest?
  2. What is the most tedious/challenging part of this proposed Quest, and how can we make it less tedious/challenging?
  3. What would be the most fun part about this Quest, and how can we make sure we emphasize that throughout the Quest?
  4. How can other Cohorts from other workshop sessions be collaborated with? Can we turn this into a friendly competition?

Selection [15 minutes]

It's decision time. As a cohort, you'll need to agree on which quest you want to take on. Consider everyone's skills and interests and ensure as many members as possible are on board with the choice.

As a cohort, select your quest from the ideas you just generated, or from previous Quest Proposals.

Quest Selection [25 minutes]

Review [10 minutes]

Everyone, review the Quest Proposals and think about which ones you would like to accomplish with your cohort.

Selection [15 minutes]

It's decision time. As a cohort, you'll need to agree on which quest you want to take on. Consider everyone's skills and interests and ensure as many members as possible are on board with the choice.

As a cohort, select your quest.

Quest Planning [85 minutes]

Initial Setup [30 minutes]

Leadership [15 minutes]

Every quest needs a leader, and the time has come to select yours. Quest leaders should:

  • act as either benevolent dictator, or as voting coordinator
  • volunteer for the role
  • be elected by their cohort
  • make a minimum time commitment to working on the Quest
  • gracefully hand off leadership if they need to step down later

Choose your leadership for this project

Project Management Software [15 minutes]

Your cohort should select and use a single project management software to keep track of tasks, ideas, and assignments. Options include:

  • Trello - Easiest to set up and use.
  • Notion - More powerful but more complicated set up.
  • Github - Particularly useful if your Quest involves coding.
  • Discord - Easy to set up (ask a Council member to make a channel), and specific tasks can be given their own threads.

Select your project management software, create the project landing page, and post the link to it in your cohort chat. Cohort leader, record the details from the quest proposal there, as well as the planning the cohort is about to do.

Project Management Practices

Keep these things in mind when planning and progressing your quest.

  • Incline less towards debating and discussing the finer points of organizational challenges / project management and more towards setting something up, trying it out, and iterating until you find what works.
  • The Quest leader should write and distribute an agenda before each meeting, consisting of a few bullet points for the discussion, to keep things focused.
  • Each meeting should have a designated scribe to make sure all the ideas and directions get written down. This position can be permanent or rotate.
  • Use a consistent method to assign tasks and due dates.

Goal and Problem Exploration [20 minutes]

Now, let's get to know your quest. This step is about understanding, not yet about finding solutions. Keep your focus on defining the challenge before you.

What's the end goal? Phrase it as simply as possible. What hurdles might stand in your way?

Break [5 minutes]

Reference to Previous Workshops [30 minutes]

Remember what you learned in our Decision Theory, Metalearning, or Murphyjitsu classes? Now's the time to put that knowledge into practice. Reflect on those lessons and consider how they can help you choose and improve the path you've outlined.

Choose one of these approaches, or another planning methodology. Apply this approach to your quest and share your findings with your cohort and in your project management software.

Quest Progression [85 minutes]

Keep in mind the the project management practices as you progress.

Review / Standup [15 minutes]

Before progressing on your quest today, let everyone know the current state of the quest.

Project leader, summarize the current progress on the quest as a whole. Each person with tasks, summarize the state of your task, emphasizing any blockers you've run into or see ahead.

Co-working / Planning / Discussion [70 minutes]

This is your time to work together, plan, or discuss the quest synchronously. You are free to split this time as you wish, but everyone should spend some time working on progressing the quest. You may find it useful to split into smaller groups for this.

Go forth and embark on your quest!

Conclusion [5 minutes]

Take these last few minutes to share what you've accomplished.

If you split up, have each group briefly share what they've done. Write up a summary of today's work and post it to your cohort chat to keep everyone in the loop on quest status.

Community Notes

This section contains links and information that Guildmembers found helpful.

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