In my last post on the three stages of an argument, I discussed how to help group discussions be focused and productive. The following is the thesis for my argument:
By focusing on observation, discussion, and resolution, group discussions at work can have a positive, actionable impact.
There is another aspect to this process that needs to be discussed. Once the group decided on a plan of action, there needs to be someone responsible for making sure the agreed upon actions are carried through.
I’ve seen several different approaches to this kind of accountability. It ultimately comes down to personal preference. There is no silver bullet when it comes to accountability, so I suggest trying various methods until something clicks.
The first method I’ve seen people attempt is to do it purely through memory. They’ll make a mental note to remind the group about the decision, then rely on reminding the group about it when they themselves remember. This technique works well for people with amazing memories, but works poorly for normal people like me.
A more efficient method I’ve seen is to make reminders to bring up the decisions during times while the team is together. Sticky notes are the most common usage, but they still require remembering to look at them before a meeting. There’s also a limit to what can be added to a sticky note just given the size.
Implementing the team reminders can be done better through a recurring calendar event. There are several times in an Agile project where the team is together like backlog grooming and retros. By adding a calendar event around these times, keeping accountability for a team becomes much easier.
I’ve talked before about the benefits offloading a lot of my daily responsibilities onto various calendars. Having a running list of different team commitments in the form of a calendar event is easily my favorite way of to achieve this kind of accountability. Using Boomerang for Gmail is another option akin to adding a calendar event.
Focusing on the resolution is a key aspect to truly fixing the problem behind a discussion. A sense of accountability can be created by ensuring past decisions are being followed and remembered. A culture where people follow through with decisions helps everyone involved become better.
The post Three Stages of an Argument – Resolution appeared first on Zach Gardner's Blog.