How To Facilitate a 99 Minute Challenge

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By Simon Tomes

updated 3 days ago

Thanks for offering to facilitate a 99 Minute Challenge. Here’s mostly everything you need to prepare for the session, run the session and reflect afterwards. If you get stuck just email masters@ministryoftesting.com and one of the team will be in touch to help.


– Simon, CommunityBoss 

What & Why

Sarah Deery (LearningBoss) sets the scene perfectly for a 99 Minute Challenge and why they are helpful, as addressed to someone who has signed up to join a session. 


“99 Minute Challenges are online, live challenges facilitated by a helpful community member. A challenge aims to help you develop testing skills that will benefit your day-to-day life. You have 99 minutes to complete them in small groups, so you get to learn with others. They emulate real-world scenarios where you apply your own know-how to tackle each challenge. This will help you develop your testing skills and self-directed learning habits through practice and reflection.” 

Who

You’ll facilitate the session. You are not expected to teach people the subject of the challenge. Your role is to walk through the agenda of the session. You will need to create slides and Miro board as part of the agenda.


You will encourage participants to explore multiple ideas & solutions, help them stay on task and support them. You’ll help keep the conversation going during the group debriefs. 


Ministry of Testing promote the challenge on your behalf yet at this stage of 99 Minute Challenges it’s unclear how many people will turn up to each session. Expect any number of people from two to twenty participants. Email masters@ministryoftesting.com to ask for registered attendee numbers if they haven't already been shared with you. 

When

Have a look at the events page to check when your session is happening. Use the “Add to Calendar” feature to officially remind yourself.

Where

As the facilitator, you run the session using a tool called Butter in a place called a “Butter Room”. There is already a room template ready for you which you will update before running the session. You will need to create slides and a Miro board. 


Important: You will need to review the Butter Room before your session and update it to include a publicly accessible Google Slide and Miro Board on the agenda. 

How

Running a Pre-Defined 99 Minute Challenge (Bronze level)

Before the session

Action the following approximately six to four days before you are due to run your session. This will give you enough time to prepare and ask questions should you have any.


  1. Accept the email invite from boss@ministryoftesting.com (via Butter) to co-facilitate the “99 Minute Challenges” Butter Room. Note the invite expires in 5 days so be sure to accept it before then. Be sure to create a Butter account that matches the email address used on the invite.  

  2. Familiarise yourself with the basic features of facilitating a Butter session by reviewing parts of the Butter Handbook. You’ll tweak the agenda by using the toolbox. As part of the agenda, they’ll likely be breakouts (if enough people are present). Also, familiarise yourself with the various Butter Interactions.

  3. Visit the 99 Minute Challenges Butter Room and view the agenda. The agenda you are looking at is the one from the previous challenge. Get a sense of how the session will run. 

  4. Edit the agenda so it matches the topic that the challenge is due to explore. 

    1. Update the Poll

    2. Using the existing Google Slide found during the agenda, create a new Google Slide and update it so it’s relevant to the challenge

    3. Using the existing Miro Board found during the agenda, create a new Miro Board and update it so it’s relevant to the challenge

    4. Add them to the agenda at the appropriate times during the agenda i.e. replace the existing Google Slide and Miro board with the new ones you have created. Be sure they are both publicly accessible by anyone on the internet.

  5. If you like, run a dry run of the session. Start the session to see what it will be like as a facilitator. Start the agenda and move from one agenda item to the next. See how you can “launch” the poll, slide and miro board at different parts of the agenda. (Note Google Slides will never enter “presentation mode”). Whatever you see within the Butter window frame will be what participants see.

  6. If you like, open the 99 Minute Challenges Butter Room on another device or incognito session to experience what it’s like as a participant.

  7. You’re all set! Any questions email, masters@ministryoftesting.com.  

During the session

  1. Start the session 5 minutes before you are due to start

  2. A doorbell will sound when someone requests to join. You’ll see people arrive in the waiting room. Message them to let them know you’ll start the session soon. Typically give it until 5 minutes past the hour to get started – to allow for late arrivals. You don’t have to let them in individually as they arrive, just let them all in at once.

  3. Let everyone in from the waiting room and start the agenda

  4. Remind people to take private notes (ensure they check “email me after the session”)

  5. Encourage the use of the queue so you can hand the mic for people to speak during the moments in the agenda where you encourage sharing  

  6. Work your way through the agenda you’ve familiarised yourself with and have already edited 

  7. Make good use of the chat feature. Share links to the Google Slides and Miro Board so participants can view them in another window should they wish to. 

  8. Observe a breakout room to indicate to the room they can ask you questions.  

  9. Once you get to the end of the agenda, select “End session for all”. It will close the session for everyone.


How you run this session might depend on how many people turn up. For example, if only two people turn up it's probably not worth sending them to a breakout room. You could just keep running the session in the main room. Also with fewer people, you may have to encourage the conversation a bit more and add your own ideas to the conversation. If so, try to find a balance of not leaning into a teaching mode. It's still important you remain a facilitator and, with low attendee numbers, also step into a participant role from time to time.  

After the session

  1. Nice one. You just facilitated a 99 Minute Challenge! 

  2. Reflect and document the following: 

    1. What do you think went well?

    2. What, if anything, could’ve gone better?

    3. What surprised you?

    4. What extra support from Ministry of Testing would’ve helped?

    5. Would you be interested in moving to the next “Silver” level? (This is where you get to modify the session you’ve just facilitated and run that session with a new group of people)

  3. Message masters@ministryoftesting.com with your answers on how it went. We’ll get in touch to organise a debrief call. 

  4. We’ll also ask how you’d like to be paid. Select one of the following options:

    1. £150 to you

    2. £150 to the scholarship fund

    3. 6 months free of a Ministry of Testing Pro Subscription

Modifying a Pre-Define 99 Minute Challenge (Silver level)

Info coming soon. 

Creating your own 99 Minute Challenge (Gold level)

Info coming soon.

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