Leading Software Projects: Preparing Participants for Collaboration
In my work with large project teams or with product teams composed of multiple project teams, I have learned the importance of paying attention to the participants long before they walk in the door for a meeting. This chapter provides a set of guidelines and formulas to think about when preparing such teams for the large meetings that move their work forward. As you read this guidance, think about how you can take the formality here and massage it, relax it, in order to apply it to small team contexts. Pay attention to the intent of the practices as you then move to alter them for your specific team contexts.
What It Means
Getting a team off on the right collaborative foot for an event or meeting requires some preparation work on your part prior to the meeting. To help team members understand the collaborative intent of the work and to encourage their enthusiastic participation, you’ll want to find out a few useful things about each person’s involvement. Additionally, you’ll want to arm each participant with any information that can usefully prepare them to actively participate. Finally, you’ll want to address the logistics necessary to smoothly pave the way for the actual event. When you prepare team members in this fashion, you help them believe that they own the meeting before they ever arrive in the room.
You prepare participants for collaboration by:
- Interviewing the sponsor
- Determining the participants
- Surveying the participants
- Setting the list of attendees
- Setting the expectations