Reflection is a big part of what we do at Overlap.  As part of our Agile process, we reflect daily and weekly about challenges and wins, and take the time after a project has ended to identify successes, obstacles, and lessons we learned to apply to future work.

So it’s no surprise that the Overlap team is taking the opportunity at the end of a calendar year to reflect on 2019 and set some intentions for 2020. Here are some thoughts from a few members of the team about what 2019 was like for us at Overlap.

What’s your favourite project that you worked on in 2019? Why was it your favourite?

“UNICEF Canada Change Summit. It was absolutely incredible to see youth and adults come together and be surprised by their own ability to create solutions.”
Sarah Martin, Senior Designer

“I can’t pick just one! The ones that do stand out though are where we were able to create more impact than exactly what we were brought on to do. Having a CAO tell us they believe their council works more effectively after being a part of our facilitations, or having a Director of Strategy tell us her organization views engagement in a totally different light after working with us on engaging their stakeholders. We often say our process is part of the outcome of a project, and seeing that come to life and fundamentally change the perspective of a team is always rewarding.”
— Steve Krysak, Account Director

“My favourite project of 2019 was working with the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF)…It was fascinating to take a deep dive in the arts and culture sector in the Region of Waterloo, and explore opportunities for collaboration within it.”
Katherine Hannemann, Senior Designer

What’s something that you tried in 2019? What did you learn from trying it?

“Taking a running course to meet people and run a half marathon! I learned I could run a half marathon! And that I truly need to do that kind of thing with other people in order to stay motivated.”
 Marilyn Cameron, Designer

“I tried creating a visual agenda. It was great—a really helpful way for clients to digest the arch of the project and how each part of the process layered together.”
— Sarah Martin, Senior Designer

“I started working with a counsellor this year and I have learned so much about strategies for caring for my emotional and mental health. Human-centred design requires empathy and deep listening, which makes it incredibly rewarding and also potentially impactful on our energy and mental health. Learning new strategies for caring for myself and practicing these things in an ongoing way has helped me develop more resilience and become a better designer.”
Kyrie Vala-Webb, Senior Designer

A hand holding a sparkler with sparks against a dark background.

Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash


What makes you excited for 2020 at work?

“Possibilities! We’ve done work with so many interesting clients in different sectors—I can’t wait to see what new opportunities arise in the coming year. Also, we have an incredible team and I love each person so much. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow alongside my colleagues.
— Sarah Martin, Senior Designer

“Making Overlap Gear an awesome little shop for anyone interested in getting their hands on our human-centred design tools.”
— Lesley Drago, Senior Designer

“Our training! Being able to share the ways we work at Overlap and helping people build skills around creativity, collaboration, design, and engagement is very exciting.”
— Kyrie Vala-Webb, Senior Designer

“Overlap Studios bringing in interesting new ideas and friends!”
Marilyn Cameron, Designer

“I’m excited for us to build new relationships in 2020 and find new ways to support new and existing clients. Our team has always been responsive to the needs of our clients, while pushing them to incorporate the design process into the work. It can be challenging, but the result is worth it and I’m excited to help more organizations through that process in 2020.”
Steve Krysak, Account Director


What are your reflections on 2019?

If you want to take some time to reflect on this year, here are some questions we’d recommend.

  • What happened in your life/work in 2019? What did you do?
  • What were some of your successes?
  • What were some challenges and obstacles that you encountered?
  • What did you learn this year?
  • What’s something from this year that you want to carry forward into 2020?

If you’re interested in learning more about Agile methodology and tools, check out our blog post Helpful Resources to Help Non-Tech Industries Learn Agile Methodology.