One of the great challenges and joys of being a local host is working with your Jammers to help them be successful.
Some hosts prefer to let their Jammers work without interference, just providing a space for the Jam. This can work well, but experience shows us it can also cause problems. Sometimes, freewheeling groups will get stuck because of personality conflicts, differences in work style or—the biggest problem of many Jams—because they spend too much time discussing.
Some Jams help keep things moving by having independent mentors or facilitators who can help the groups. These might be specialist for the design process, for sustainability, or for group dynamics and motivation.
Another good technique is to use jamming tools like the popular Nudge Cards developed for the GSJ11 (download text, ai graphics). You will find, download and share more tools at The Organiser’s Basecamp.
A third option is to fix a structure, timeblocking the Jam into developmental phases, and ask the Jammers to report their progress at preset intervals.
See the section ‘The Big Decision—how much structure‘ and example time plans in the appendices for more.