Facilitating Meetings -
The Forgotten Skill in
the Software World
by Ram Srinivasan
Agile Coach and Trainer
email@ramvasan...
Our Working Agreements
● Time-box
● Participation
○ Your participation, my participation,
○ Tweets - #nyspin, #facilitatio...
What are Some Reasons for
Ineffective Meetings?
● Unclear objectives / lack of agenda
● Wrong participants
● Not adhering ...
Effective Meetings have ...
● A detailed agenda
● Group norms/working agreements
● Conflict management strategies
● Clearl...
Meeting - The Three Questions
1. What is the purpose
of this meeting?
2. What is the most
important question
that needs to...
Types of Meeting
● Status Meeting
● Work Meeting
● Hybrid Meeting
Different Roles in a Meeting
Sponsor: Person who determines the meeting purpose and
deliverables. He/she is impacted by th...
What is Facilitation?
Leadership role in which decision making powers reside
with the members
Facilitator guides participa...
Who Can Facilitate?
Internal Facilitator: Fulltime in-house cadre or part-
time volunteers
Advantages: - costs less, know ...
Before the meeting
Sponsor Interview: Imagine that the meeting is over and
you were pleased with what the team(s) produced...
Agenda of the Meeting
Orderly flow of
information that will
achieve the objective of
the meeting
A series of questions you...
Agenda - Release Retrospective Meeting
What How
Introductions to teams
(5 minutes)
Joe (CTO) briefly talks about the past
...
The Meeting...
● Power Start
● Power-up
Questions
● Divergence tools
● Power-on
questions
● Convergence tools
● Action Ste...
Power Start - First 5 minutes
1. Context - Why are we
here?
2. Continuity - Recap from
past meetings
3. Neutrality - A fac...
Power-up Questions for Idea Generation
1. Begin the questions with words that create
images / paint a picture/ use metapho...
Power-on Questions for Idea Generation
Open ended and probing based on curiosity
What are some of the things that you migh...
Tools for Idea Generation
Brainstorming Listing
Variations for Idea Generation: Mind-maps, Mad-Sad-Glad, Radar
Charts, Tim...
Tools for Convergence
Grouping Prioritizing
Variations : Prioritize with dots, Voting, Fist of Five, Patterns and Shifts,
...
Running the Meeting
● Everyone participates - Round Robin, silent
writing, "Can we hear from people who have
not spoken so...
Tools at your Disposal
Tools at your Disposal - Parking lot
______
______
______
______
______
______
______
______
______
______
______
______
_...
Tools at your Disposal - Action Chart
What Who When
Note: Start using this tool only towards the close
My Favorite 4s
● Manage Visually
● Volunteer Participation
● Adhere to the time box
● Keep them moving - dyads, triads, gr...
This Meeting
Retrospective on this Meeting
+
References
https://delicious.com/ramvasan/facilitation
email@ramvasan.com
http://ramvasan.com
http://linkedin.com/in/ramvasan
@ramvasan
This work is licensed under a
Creative Co...
Facilitating Meetings -The Forgotten Skill in the Software World
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Facilitating Meetings -The Forgotten Skill in the Software World

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Facilitating Meetings -The Forgotten Skill in the Software World

  1. 1. Facilitating Meetings - The Forgotten Skill in the Software World by Ram Srinivasan Agile Coach and Trainer email@ramvasan.com @ramvasan http://linkedin.com/in/ramvasan
  2. 2. Our Working Agreements ● Time-box ● Participation ○ Your participation, my participation, ○ Tweets - #nyspin, #facilitation, @ramvasan ● Electronic gadgets ● Parking lot ● Anything else?
  3. 3. What are Some Reasons for Ineffective Meetings? ● Unclear objectives / lack of agenda ● Wrong participants ● Not adhering to time limits ● No one facilitating a discussion ● People do not do their homeworks ● Lack of closure to discussions ● No evaluation at the end ● Other ?
  4. 4. Effective Meetings have ... ● A detailed agenda ● Group norms/working agreements ● Conflict management strategies ● Clearly assigned roles ● Creates true closure on topics ● Specific follow-up plans ● Post meeting evaluation ● Others?
  5. 5. Meeting - The Three Questions 1. What is the purpose of this meeting? 2. What is the most important question that needs to be answered by the end of this meeting? 3. What are the deliverables?
  6. 6. Types of Meeting ● Status Meeting ● Work Meeting ● Hybrid Meeting
  7. 7. Different Roles in a Meeting Sponsor: Person who determines the meeting purpose and deliverables. He/she is impacted by the output of the meeting Facilitator: Creates the meeting environment and holds the group together to help them achieve the meeting objective Participant: Stakeholders who participate in the meeting. May provide input and may be responsible for deliverables Observer: Should adhere to the working agreements and cannot participate in the meeting Timekeeper: Keeps track of time (visual timekeeping using placards or countdown timers are better)
  8. 8. What is Facilitation? Leadership role in which decision making powers reside with the members Facilitator guides participants through their discussions and help the group develop their own answers Establish and maintain a high energy level in the meeting Provide tools and process for the group Remain neutral and not interfere with authority of members
  9. 9. Who Can Facilitate? Internal Facilitator: Fulltime in-house cadre or part- time volunteers Advantages: - costs less, know more about organization history and culture, easy to access, can follow the outcome External Facilitators:Consultants,OD professionals Advantages: experience, credibility, no political/emotional baggage, can be trusted for neutrality, can take more risks Leaders as Facilitators: Managers, CXOs Disadvantages: Have a degree of power over members, difficulties switching to neutral mode
  10. 10. Before the meeting Sponsor Interview: Imagine that the meeting is over and you were pleased with what the team(s) produced, what is that which the teams produced which made the meeting worthwhile? Participants Interview: WIIFM ? Logistics: Agenda, participants, location, familiarize with electronic tools, process(how), food, etc. Prepare the room(boards, charts, supplies) ahead of time
  11. 11. Agenda of the Meeting Orderly flow of information that will achieve the objective of the meeting A series of questions you ask to gather info necessary to produce the meeting deliverables
  12. 12. Agenda - Release Retrospective Meeting What How Introductions to teams (5 minutes) Joe (CTO) briefly talks about the past release Review Working Agreement (10 minutes) Revisit previous working agreement. Update the agreement, if needed Explain the format of the retrospective (5 minutes) How teams will participate - Different activities, logistics, etc Brainstorm as teams - significant events during the release (20 minutes) Timelines, Team Radar, Mad-Sad-Glad Identify patterns / Generate Insights (15 minutes) Prioritize using dot voting Decide what to do (20 minutes) SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) Close (5 minutes) Return on time invested - anonymous votes Facilitator: John Doe Participants: ATG team, Superheros (SOA Team) and Mutual Fund Team Location: 18th Floor - Manhattan Conf. Room Time: 10:45AM to 12:15 PM
  13. 13. The Meeting... ● Power Start ● Power-up Questions ● Divergence tools ● Power-on questions ● Convergence tools ● Action Steps ● Retrospective ● Clean up after yourself
  14. 14. Power Start - First 5 minutes 1. Context - Why are we here? 2. Continuity - Recap from past meetings 3. Neutrality - A facilitator's stance 4. Self Governance - Team norms/ Working agreements 5. Consensus - I can live with that and support it
  15. 15. Power-up Questions for Idea Generation 1. Begin the questions with words that create images / paint a picture/ use metaphors. Example: Imagine that ...., Think about a time.... 2. Tell a brief story that help team members access what they know 3. End precisely with the specific question from your agenda
  16. 16. Power-on Questions for Idea Generation Open ended and probing based on curiosity What are some of the things that you might consider? What are some of the underlying assumptions? What might the benefits of that be? Clarify thoughts It sounds like what you are saying is .... Help us understand, why is this important? Helps participants build on each others' thoughts
  17. 17. Tools for Idea Generation Brainstorming Listing Variations for Idea Generation: Mind-maps, Mad-Sad-Glad, Radar Charts, Timelines, etc Brainstorming rules - http://bit.ly/ScjCvt
  18. 18. Tools for Convergence Grouping Prioritizing Variations : Prioritize with dots, Voting, Fist of Five, Patterns and Shifts, Force Field Analysis, Identify Themes, etc
  19. 19. Running the Meeting ● Everyone participates - Round Robin, silent writing, "Can we hear from people who have not spoken so far" ● Dysfunctional Behavior - Never humiliate in public ● Managing Conflicts - Conflict Agreements, Speed Leas Conflict Model ● Silence
  20. 20. Tools at your Disposal
  21. 21. Tools at your Disposal - Parking lot ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ Parking lot - Post your questions here Tip: Never skip the parking lot or use it to dodge questions
  22. 22. Tools at your Disposal - Action Chart What Who When Note: Start using this tool only towards the close
  23. 23. My Favorite 4s ● Manage Visually ● Volunteer Participation ● Adhere to the time box ● Keep them moving - dyads, triads, groups and exercises
  24. 24. This Meeting
  25. 25. Retrospective on this Meeting +
  26. 26. References https://delicious.com/ramvasan/facilitation
  27. 27. email@ramvasan.com http://ramvasan.com http://linkedin.com/in/ramvasan @ramvasan This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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