Fastrack @ Monash | Workshop 1.1

Anna Rysenbry
Mar 16 · 8 min read

Friday 12th March 2021

A quick word before we crack on

The structure of these blogs will be consistent so they’re easier to digest. Each week from each team you’ll get an update on 1) progress made in the last week between classes 2) what teams need help with 3) plan of attack before the next class and 4) comments + feedback from the delivery team. Feedback is always appreciated so we can make this easier and more interesting for you (do that here). Enjoy!

1. Team Cyrcle

Fastrack team page: fastrackatmonash.com/team-cyrcle

How might we redesign product consumption & waste management systems for consumers & households so that it is more convenient and help them produce net-zero waste?

[Progress between Bootcamp 1 + Workshop 1]

  • Interviewed David Craig, CFO Australia Paper Recovery Pty Ltd. Gained valuable insights into the company operations. Contamination of recycling bins is one of the major problems they face, with over 50% of batches contaminated due to lack of public education. The team has been invited back for a visit to their plant
  • Interviewed Jenni Downes, Research Fellow, BehaviourWorks Australia from Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Sustainability and recycling among consumers is based on three main factors: 1) Consumer Habit, 2) Consumer knowledge and barriers to that knowledge and; 3) Incentives.
  • Conducted a customer interview, an international individual from Taiwan, who used to recycle there but does not in Australia. The team intends on investigating the pain points in Australia from this person in more detail
  • Aiming to get more specific in interviews as they test and validate hypotheses
  • A consistent theme in their discussions has been about education, that people are not educated about recycling
Photo credit: The Blowup — Unsplash

[What the team needs help with]

  • Looking for industry experts from the commercial and academic spaces, to further understand the gaps in their problem area and narrow their scope on a particular problem space as the area is extremely broad
  • Looking for experts to discuss the commercial viability of a business involved in this space and how they might be able to avoid mistakes when trying to change consumer behaviour

[Actions between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2]

  • Further interviews in industry and academic spaces to dig deeper into the issue
  • Speak again with the interviewee from Taiwan to further investigate their pain points and why recycling is not something that they do in Australia
  • Refining the customer questionnaire and how they might incorporate human centricity into their design questions

[Feedback from the delivery team]

  • In response to Natalia sharing that she asked Jenni Dowes what she personally does with recycling: “It’s a great question to ask what they do TODAY, not what they think they might like to do or will do in the future and the answers were real and accurate not aspirational”
  • Use smart ways of tapping into other resources and networks and ask the expert to introduce you to the next person
  • Have a clear line of sight with who you will talk to next

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2. Team Men in Slack

Fastrack team page: https://www.fastrackatmonash.com/team-men-in-slack

How might we create opportunities for artists so that they can diversify their skills to achieve common goals?

[Progress between Bootcamp 1 + Workshop]

  • Drafted open-ended questions for their discussion guide
  • Interviewed four aspiring artists in the creative industry (two musicians, one filmmaker, one designer)
  • Drafted six hypotheses based on their assumptions that they need to go and test
Photo credit: Annie Spratt — Unsplash

[What the team needs help with]

  • Any pointers or connections with creative artists or institutions would be greatly appreciated! They are currently looking to speak with independent artists, students, staff and experts within the industry

[Actions between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2]

  • Understand the problem space better and not be solution-oriented, the team have decided to get in touch with various creative academies and institutes in Melbourne to ensure interviews are not consisting only of personal connections
  • Conduct an interview with the Head of Department of the Monash Arts department
  • Interview artists from artist hubs that they have contacted
  • The team has anticipated the chance of the institutes and academies not replying and have decided to visit them physically as well as artists performing in the streets to see if they can arrange an interview

[Feedback from the delivery team]

  • Think about where artist communities sit, artists congregate often online (IG, Spotify, Youtube). You’re also in Melbourne, a vibrant hub of arts and culture! Aka. No excuses. Get out there and find people.

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3. Team Vikings

Fastrack team page: https://www.fastrackatmonash.com/team-vikings

How might we redesign the social experience For OTT/subscription media users so that it is more interactive and engaging for them?

[Progress between Bootcamp 1 + Workshop]

  • Completed the HMW statement, Written Hypothesis Statements and created a research question to ask questions to potential customers
  • Asked David to review the questions and implemented feedback to the research document
  • Conducted 5 formal interviews and 2 AdHoc Interviews

[What the team needs help with]

  • Connecting with potential customers for interviews (any potential connections would be helpful, the team are looking to interview and speak with OTT users)

[Actions between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2]

  • Conduct 5 x formal interviews and 3 x informal meetings to understand customer behaviour in consuming content and understanding their pain points
Photo credit: Mollie Sivaram — Unsplash

[Feedback from the delivery team]

  • There is potential to learn about other people’s experiences on OTT. You have been very specific about OTT and even one particular type of OTT (Netflix), what if the problem is part of other platforms?
  • Get a good foundation to start with so that you’re iterating on a strong foundation otherwise the iterations will suck
  • Start with observations instead of research questions, research questions are hard to do well, observations will tell you a lot!
  • Have a clear objective about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Build some research objectives if you don’t have them already
  • Have you gone too narrow, do you need to go wider?
  • It's great to see that you’re evolving on what you’re asking based on what you’re doing when interviewing

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4. Team orIDgin

Fastrack team page: https://www.fastrackatmonash.com/team-oridgin

How might we overcome students cheating on exams and assignments so that the integrity of the university can lead to a better student learning experience?

Photo credit: Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu — Unsplash

[Progress between Bootcamp 1 + Workshop]

  • Hypotheses development
  • Identified a clear problem space
  • Plan for interviews (prepared questions, identified audience)
  • Interviewed students and lecturers
  • Interviewed Mark Searle (Delivery Team &Industry Expert)
  • Continued exploration of the problem and gained deeper insights

[What the team needs help with]

  • Referrals from Fastrack expert advisors once they reach out to them
  • Introductions to other universities that they can be interview/speak with to understand the problem in different environments i.e. what is currently being done by other universities in response to outsourcing
  • Understanding different relationships in the institution (universities)

[Actions between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2]

  • Interview Monash University academics and staff to understand different relationships in the organizational structure, awareness level etc.
  • Interview parents to gain different perspectives on the problem
  • Interviewing more students and lecturers for a deeper understanding of the problem space
  • Identifying potential customers
  • Gathering insights and identifying main insights from interviews

[Feedback from the delivery team]

  • Interesting with cultural norms and pressures that are part of this space. Where is the pressure coming from? With some, it’s coming from their parents. Students who aren’t doing well because they hate the degree because they didn’t choose it. Their parents have offered money for the tutor to do the assessment for the student to pass
  • Look at all parts of the system because it seems to be more prevalent in other areas than you might have originally thought
  • What is the motivation to cheat?
  • Mark S. “I believe that faculty members would use a solution if it weren’t a hassle to use it”
  • Again, it’s great that you’re surprised by what you’re learning from your interviews. In less than one week you’ve learned how many people are involved
  • Who has an investment in the system not being changed?

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5. Team 52Hz

Fastrack team page: fastrackatmonash.com/team-52hz

Photo credit: Aditya Wardhana — Unsplash

[Progress between Bootcamp 1 + Workshop]

  • Completed initial observations via a questionnaire around hobbies published on the internet and received more than 60 responses
  • Completed 14 face-to-face interviews
  • Received and implemented feedback from the delivery team on their questionnaire, interviews and problem space exploration

[What the team needs help with]

  • Introductions and connections around people they can speak with to further explore their problem space and assist in narrowing in on a niche area within the problem space
Photo credit: Banff Sunshine Village — Unsplash

[Actions between Workshop 1 and Workshop 2]

  • Refining their interview questions and discussion guide
  • Complete further interviews
  • Meet with expert advisors

[Feedback from the delivery team]

  • Be careful using questionaries at this stage, it's too structured to be using them at this early stage when you’re still exploring the problem. You’ve already designed the 3rd or 4th question before you’ve even started the conversation with someone
  • At the moment you’re just looking at ‘is there a real problem, if so what is it?’
  • You might be missing a larger issue that you won’t find if you have a questionnaire that is written in advance, you can’t be surprised like other teams have been with insights from their early interviews
  • Don’t get too stuck on the hobbies side of things, it was a great catalyst but what else could you explore and discover in interviews and observations?

💥 💥 💥 Well, folks, that’s a wrap of Workshop #1. With the second workshop already on the horizon and plenty of work to do in the next few days, the teams really have their work cut out for them. Don’t forget to RSVP for the Industry Stress-test on Friday March 26th.

If you can see anything above that sparks an interest or that you would like to discuss further please reach out to anna.rysenbry@monash.edu or comment in the#fastrackexpertadvisors Slack channel if you are an expert advisor and want to get in touch with the teams directly.

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Well, if you’ve made it this far we assume that you might like what we do. To find out more about Fastrack @ Monash head to fastrackatmonash.com

In the Entrepreneurship Portfolio at Monash, we’re always up for a coffee and a chat. If you’d like to catch up with the team to discuss entrepreneurial endeavours, getting involved in our units or the Fastrack @ Monash program, tee up a time to meet with us.

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monash entrepreneurship

We work with leading industry practitioners to foster entrepreneurial thinking and practices. Our aim is to nurture and support a community that has the mindset, knowledge and skills to harness new ideas, create innovative start-ups and drive positive organisational change.

Anna Rysenbry

Written by

monash entrepreneurship

We work with leading industry practitioners to foster entrepreneurial thinking and practices. Our aim is to nurture and support a community that has the mindset, knowledge and skills to harness new ideas, create innovative start-ups and drive positive organisational change.