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Drop Add Keep Improve (DAKI)

> Summarize

Teamwork can continuously improve by asking two simple questions: ‘what worked well that we don’t want to forget’ and ‘what do we need to do differently?’

This way, each participant addresses these different questions to produce a list of possible improvements that they can transform into a directly applicable action plan.

Pre-requisites

This activity should be played with a team that has already been working together for a few months, so they’ll be able to look back on their methods with hindsight.

Prepare a Board in round by round mode with 4 categories (Drop/Add/Keep/Improve). You can set up time management, to be adjusted according to the number of participants (30 to 60 minutes).

Activity settings Board

  • Activity format: Round by round
  • Time management: timer or stopwatch (30-60 min)
  • Categories: 4 activity categories

Process

1

Presentation

Provide a past context for the activity: today you’re working with the group to improve work processes, so it’s best to identify the period of time under examination. Introduce the activity and the meaning of each of the four categories:

  • Drop: the participants express what they want to stop or remove. For example: what’s affecting their speed and/or the quality of their work.

  • Add: it’s time to innovate. If members of your team want to try new techniques, different processes or novel collaboration techniques to reach their goals, this is the opportunity to discuses them!

  • Keep: team introspection time. The list of what things to carry on with, what worked well. Remembering all the good ways of doing things is great for your team’s speed and pride!

  • Improve: what could be tweaked to make our team even better?

2

Exploration

Each participant works quietly on their own during the time allocated for exploration, taking note of their ideas on their Beekast notepad.

3

Discussion

One by one, the participants send their notepad ideas to the Board, taking a few seconds to explain each idea.
You can create groups as you go along to put similar or identical ideas together. You can also use colour markers.

4

Selection

Your idea gathering session is done once everyone has had a chance to speak.
If there are a lot of ideas to discuss, we recommend casting votes using points:

  • You can switch directly to the voting session in your Beekast Board. Remind participants that they only have a few points, in order to prioritise what really matters to them.

5

Summary

Once the vote is over or you’ve made your manual selections, identify the ideas with the most votes (usually the first 3 or 4) in order to set up an action plan to have them implemented.
You can enter the actions directly in the discussion space so that they’ll show up in your meeting notes.

Suggestions and variations

Ideally, you’d run through an icebreaker activity to get people talking.

It’s important for the exploration phase to be done in silence to avoid any influence from the group.

If continuous improvement activities are habitual for you (for example, in project retrospectives, post mortem’s, etc.), take time before the activity to revisit the action plan from the previous session.

The DAKI activity allows you to adopt a continuous improvement initiative in the team. You can change things up with other similar activities:

Activity Board
30 to 60 min
2 to 30
Intermediate
Exploration
Make choices for the future, adopt a continuous improvement approach.
Improve your work processes by taking a step back.