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Team planning exercises

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This is a simple way to involve all team members in planning the team’s work and sharing out the workload.

This exercise works as part of a wider team planning process. Once you’ve agreed the main aims of the team you can go on to form more detailed objectives.

Resources needed

  • post-it notes in two different colours
  • flip chart paper

Method

  1. Write each team objective on a separate post-it note (all of the same colour). When you’ve finished, attach all the post-its on a piece of flip-chart paper.
  2. Now place each objective in order of importance (high, medium, low). How many do you have? What are your priorities?
  3. Starting with your top priority take one post-it (objective). Stick it on a new piece of flip-chart paper.
  4. Now discuss and agree what tasks need to be done to achieve that objective. Write each task on a separate post-it note (in a second colour).
  5. Go on to do this with all your objectives until you end up with a piece of flip-chart for each one. Each flip-chart should have the objective in one colour and a number of tasks in another colour.
  6. Review the whole. Is it manageable within the resources you have (people, time, finances)? What’s essential? Is there anything you can drop?
  7. Once you’ve come up with a final list, decide how you will share the work. Will one person take responsibility for a particular objective? Or will the tasks for that objective be shared? Who will carry out each task? Who will coordinate?
  8. As objectives and tasks are allocated hand the relevant post-it note to its ‘owner’.
  9. The pile in front of each person represents their contribution to achieving the team’s objectives.

You might go on to discuss:

  • How evenly distributed is workload?
  • Who needs to work with who?
  • What support do people need to carry out their tasks?
  • What resources are needed?
  • Are there any learning or training needs?

Outcomes

You should go away with a well-thought through plan to which everyone has contributed. Individuals will be able to see how important their own work is in enabling the team to achieve its overall goals.

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Irene MacWilliam

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