profile

The Fountain Institute

Getting your team to agree on strategy

Published about 1 year ago • 2 min read

Dear Reader,

Do you sometimes feel like you're herding cats when it comes to strategy?

Trust us, we know the feeling. Getting stakeholders to agree can feel like an uphill battle.

But fear not! We've got a tool to help you navigate the choppy waters of team alignment. Sam Kaner's gradient of agreement scale is a useful tool for visualizing a team's opinions and can help identify areas of agreement, disagreement, and uncertainty.

Here's how it works in a nutshell:

  1. Ask your team to rate their level of agreement on a scale of 1-8 with a statement related to your UX strategy. 1 being "Whole-hearted Endorsement" and 8 being "veto".
  2. Once everyone has rated their level of agreement, visualize all the results on a 1-8 scale.
  3. Identify the areas of agreement, disagreement, and uncertainty. This will help you understand where your team stands and where you need to focus your efforts to get everyone on the same page.
  4. Use this information to facilitate a discussion among your team. Ask those who rated their agreement levels differently to share their thoughts and reasons. This can help uncover assumptions and misunderstandings, leading to better alignment and agreement.

By using the gradient of agreement scale in workshops or meetings, you can create a safe and collaborative space where everyone's opinions and perspectives are heard and valued.

This can help you overcome challenges such as having the HIPPO in the room, not being the decision-maker, or people not sharing their opinion when their bosses are in the room.

Remember, not everyone will always agree, but that's okay!

By using a tool like the gradient of agreement scale, you'll be able to identify the areas where you need to focus your efforts and work towards a common goal.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your team, some markers, and a whiteboard, and let's make your next strategy workshop a success!

Share it on Instagram

We just launched a book club...

Our first book will be Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres in April. Grab the book and join the #book-club channel in the Guild of Working Designers Slack to join!


MEETUP: B2B Survival Guide for UX Designers
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Learn to improve the user experience when your customer is another business.
Reserve a seat


Defining UX Strategy
April 17-May 8, 2023
Learn how to build a winning UX or product strategy that aligns design with business.
Reserve a seat


Facilitating Workshops
May 15-Jun. 5, 2023
Learn how to design creative working sessions and lead collaborative work.
Reserve a seat



💪 Daily ethical design practices
This guide outlines daily ethical design practices including how to peruse well-being, equity, and sustainability.
shared by Joshua Stehr
Learn more


📖 The Solutionists: How Businesses Can Fix the Future
The Solutionists sets out what it takes to join the new generation of entrepreneurs and leaders transforming business to create a more sustainable society.
shared by Lizzie Hamblin
Learn more


Apply to join the Guild of Working Designers here.

shared by Filipe Monteiro in the Guild

Until next week!

Hannah Baker
Educator & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

Read more from The Fountain Institute
3 levels of strategy

Why You Need to "Get" the Business Strategy by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, I ran a strategy workshop for 20 design leaders and managers here in Berlin yesterday. We discussed the 3 levels of strategy. Here's the slide: Ok, here's a quick breakdown of the 3 levels: Corporate Strategy - Most companies don't need a Corporate Strategy. An example would be Alphabet's Corporate Strategy for Google and YouTube. You can probably ignore that one. Business Strategy - The main strategy at most companies....

11 days ago • 2 min read

What We Dreamed Up at the Design Community Session By Hannah Baker Dear Reader, Wow, what a whirlwind of inspiration we stirred up at last week's Designers' Collective Dreaming meetup! Your passion, ideas, and stories have inspired exciting visions for the Guild of Working Designers' future. Our meetup was not just another gathering but a hands-on exploration of what makes a design community flourish and how we can enhance it. Through heartfelt conversations, sticky notes, and imaginative...

25 days ago • 1 min read

Figma Skills Won't Get You Promoted by Jeff Humble Dear Reader, Today's advice letter concerns the design community's fetishization of Figma and how our obsession with tools gives the wrong impression. Let me explain. Everywhere you look, designer dudes are trying to sell you on Figma. Design is so much more than software for drawing rectangles. But still, you click this stuff. It's almost like you think that learning this one piece of software is the job...rather than, you know, learning how...

about 1 month ago • 2 min read
Share this post