The focus of building the radar is our bi-annual face-to-face meeting. Before the meeting TABbers are usually talking to plenty of people and thinking about what ought to be blipped. Non-TAB ThoughtWorkers lobby for things they are interested in, although it's the TAB's radar, we seek out opinions from lots of sources, inside and outside ThoughtWorks.
At the face-to-face we spend several hours on the radar. Our main aim during the meeting is to decide what the blips are, and which rings they fall into. Since this is the most contentious part of the process, it's valuable to do this while we are together.
We begin by putting candidate blips up on the wall, each placed in their suggested quadrant and ring. Often different people suggest the same blips commonly in different rings. Once we have the candidates up on the board, we go through the long process of evaluating each blip. One at a time we take each blip and discuss whether we think it ought to be on the radar, and if so, where. This discussion is always enjoyable, there's lots of opinions and experiences round the room, but there's also a friendliness and mutual respect that makes the arguments much less grating than these kinds of discussions usually become.
Once we have the blips chosen and positioned, we then need to write the text for them. We do this using Mingle, so we can easily collaborate on the descriptions, each blip gets one champion who is responsible for writing it up. Most of the writing occurs after the meeting. The TAB has a coordinator who has the unenviable job of chasing us to get our blips written up.
At about the same time as we're doing the writing, a designer works on the graphic. We tell the designer what blips to show and their distance from the center, but he or she decides on the angle within a quadrant.
Our coordinator pulls the text out of Mingle and puts together the various formats of the radar.