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Explain it Like I’m Five

Explain it Like I'm Five

Individual assumptions and jargon are harmful to the transparency and accountability needed for effective project work. This quick exercise helps teams build project clarity. To begin, the facilitator will tell team members to imagine a five-year-old they know.

Clarifying project components through empathy and simplicity
Step 1: Facilitator Writes Description

Facilitator writes down a one or two sentence description of a project, problem, or component.  

 

 

Meeting
Step 2: Team Revises the Statement 

The teamʼs goal is to then revise this statement until they believe a five-year-old will understand what the team is trying to accomplish and why it matters. 

For greatest impact, the team should save each of their working statements as they become increasingly simplified.

 

Step 3: Capture Artifact

For greatest impact, the team should save each of their working statements as they become increasingly simplified. The project team should them have a clear understanding of the project in the simplest terms. 

 

Templates

Use these worksheets as specific applications for the Explain it Like I’m Five play.