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GoKart Labs Method: Playing Field

GoKart Labs Method: Playing Field

This post is the first in a series (call it our MVP) of proven methods we use to solve problems at GoKart. Our methods are designed to be applicable across job roles, companies, and industries. All our methods are trainable, repeatable, and free for you to use.


What is Playing Field?

Playing Field is a guided conversation that creates a consensus around goals and constraints.

How To Do It

  1. Draw a picture of a baseball diamond on a whiteboard or giant post-it note.
    1. Next to (or below it) create two columns: Fair and Foul.
  2. You can start the conversation by focusing either on goals or constraints.
    1. Typically, we start with the question “what does success look like?” When we look back a year from now and are evaluating how we did, what’s a Single – the bare minimum we have to accomplish or the effort was a failure. Opposite that, what’s a home run, or a smashing success?
  3. Continue the conversation until you have defined four different degrees of success: single, double, triple, and home run.
  4. During the conversation it’s important to ask questions about what’s fair (what can we do and/or work with) and what’s foul (what is off limits ). Ask “what else” to make sure the list complete.
  5. Fill in all of the information on your playing field and drive to consensus by replaying the answers to the group – “can we all agree that this is a single?” Don’t be afraid to rewrite the language, or move statements to a different base.
  6. Continue the conversation and refine the answers until the entire playing field is full and there’s consensus around the room.


Why It Works

Playing Field is a simple metaphor that people understand. It’s loosely structured, but it gets at important information and creates alignment really quickly. Defining a Playing Field with a group of stakeholders creates an open and free-flowing conversation that allows everyone to be heard.


At GoKart Labs, we specialize in Invention & Business Strategy, User Experience & Design, Web & Mobile Software Development, and Digital Marketing. To find out more about becoming a client, call 612.454.4012.

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