Deciding what to do and why

Week 40

Our plan was to meet all six of us, face to face, to thoroughly discuss our final topic for the course. We booked a room for two hours and all of us had thought of the pros and cons for all the topics before the meeting. Thus, for this weeks meeting we had a clear agenda; we wanted to choose our topic from the six best ideas we had so far. The six ideas were

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A certificate/review system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of coffees
  3. A unified coffee package label which could for example tell more specifically about the origins of the coffee
  4. An informative website which would display general as well as more specific information about coffee such as farming conventions and methods, generated pollution and other ecological problems, child labor and slave labor in different areas etc.
  5. A mobile application with the following features:
    • User tasting experience (like in Untapped/Vivino) rated by users
    • Tracking factor to tell how well the origin of the coffee is known
    • Overall rating system for ethiticity

Execution: We carried out an opportunity tournament to choose the best topic for us. The tournament took two hours and was tough. Below you can see an outline of the tournament.

ROUND 1

During the first round we chose three of the most interesting topics for us. The week before we had already named three of our favourite topics. Still, we wanted to make sure that no one had second thoughts about these topics. It turned out that the three topics we had chosen to present last week were still the favourite topics of the group.

The three most interesting topics for us were:

  1. A marketplace for sellers and buyers of responsibly produced coffee
  2. A certificate/review system for shedding more light on the origin, responsibility, sustainability, etc. of specific coffees
  3. A coffee rating mobile application  

The choice was quite easy as we all agreed. After this the game got tougher.

ROUND 2

Next we dropped one topic out, based on how well we thought we could carry out the project the topic in question. We didn’t want to choose a topic that we liked, but that would later on turn out to be too difficult for us. Because of this we decided to drop out the certificate/review system. At this point three of us were in the favour of the app, and three were in the favour of the marketplace to be chosen as the topic.

ROUND 3

Then finally, after a long conversation, we discussed how well do the last two topics actually solve our original problem. At this point we noticed that we actually had to revise what problem we were solving. We also considered wether we would have to change or modify the original problem we were solving. Together we formulated our mission statement as “Making the steps of the lifecycle of coffee more transparent”. We noticed that option two, the app, solved the problem better.

We indeed did get quite clear results from this week! We now have chosen which problem (exactly) we will solve, as well as how we will solve it.

How did it go and what is next?

We were all very happy with the tournament. Everybody got the chance to present their opinions without hurrying. Surprisingly before the last round, the winner was not clear. During the last round many of us were changing our opinion about the best topic, since there were so good points made by others. We learned that it takes time to make a decision when there are six of us. In the future we will book enough time for the big decisions we need to make together.

We already named responsibility areas for all of us and booked the next meeting for the next week. Now that we know that our solution for the problem is a mobile application, we decided that for the next week we all will read more about already existing coffee related applications. We also got the writing of the project plan started and divide the workload.

All in all we are very happy this week, and most of all we had an excellent conversation when choosing the topic. We are excited to really get the project started!

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