HPT - The Team Reset

Sep 15, 2023 5:36 pm

Happy Friday,

Two weeks ago, I wrote my roadmap email, and this one is a bit of a deeper dive into how I reset the teams and the 1-3 day workshop.

The good news is there's a recording of a conference talk I gave breaking down this meeting in pretty serious detail. The bad news is that it is an hour long.

If you want to feel better about that hour, it takes me twice as long to prepare the meeting as it takes. So if I do this workshop in a day, it's two full days of preparation for me.

See, that hour seems like nothing now!

In a nutshell, this workshop is founded on a few elements. One is that the meeting is collaborative by nature. That means I'm not lecturing or teaching hard at all. Instead, I'm attending the meeting itself. The participants create all the meaning through the activities and discussions I facilitate. Next, participation is optional, and everything about this meeting is informed by the interviews I conduct in advance.

Small aside, I once threw a director out of the workshop because the majority of folks on the team said the director would create a problem for the rest of them.

As for the meeting itself, it moves through a series of phases. The first phase is all about the individual. I facilitate activities that let people's individual qualities and strengths come through. All of this is done so that the folks in the room can answer the question, "Who am I?"

The next phase is about the team. We create a statement that reflects the ambition of the team, they come up with what qualities they think matter and what rules they think will keep them flying right. It ends with people getting the choice to join the team or not. This all leads to the question, "Who are we?"

The last two phases change a bit depending on circumstance, but in a nutshell, they cover the work and how the team works. Fairly often, the team is very familiar with the work since it isn't often I'm establishing a new team with a new product. So, instead, I bring folks in, and there is a discussion between this infant team and these stakeholders about what they need from one another to excel.

For the discussion on how the team works, again, almost everyone has been working for a while, so it is less about some big training and more about nudging things to be better set up. A favorite activity of mine is to go through everything the team is doing and categorize it as Scrum/Not Scrum. I find this eye-opening to folks as they never had any idea how much of what they thought was by the book was an arbitrary choice.

By the end of the workshop, the team knows who they are, who they want to be, how to work with one another, what's at stake work-wise, and how they want to go about that work. This is almost always more than what any team ever received.

Some other notes here are that I will often have other cameos from senior leaders come in and talk through their hopes, a list of things the team needs to succeed is created, and there is a list of things the team wants to work on together intentionally.

Anyway, that's it in a nutshell. Obviously, the devil is in the details with things like this, but you'll get a better sense from the video.

Watch the Video