Need to accelerate teams without a budget? Here’s some practical tips

People always try to accelerate teams with very complex org structure changes, but rarely use simple methods to do so. I use the following  two tools with agile tech teams, students in class and with startups in rhubarb studios. I even use it with my management team.

Delta plus to accelerate teamsDelta-Plus

When leading a group, team or class you can use delta-plus (sometimes called ‘plus/change’).
Here’s how to do it:
  • draw a triangle and a plus sign on the whiteboard, side by side with a line between them
  • explain to people that we’re going to list anything we’d like to see done differently on the delta (triangle) side, and anything we want to do more of on the plus side
  • Invite people to contribute and write up a summary of what each person says on the board
  • note any actions that specifically arise from these points on the side and write the initials of the person who owns them next to it
  • take a picture of the outcome and post it to everyone
  • make appropriate changes
I do this at the end of every meeting, every class, every workshop and every session (I even do it with my family) – try it, it will improve your group.

MeetingsHow to stop the meeting vortex

Meetings count as one of the greatest time sucks in business. People spend all day in meetings and then have to either stay late or work on their laptop in bed to do  ‘real work’. “But we need them!” I have heard countless clients tell me. You don’t. I have a couple of simple ways to turn your meeting nightmares into a smooth productive, collaborative environment:
  • Huddle, don’t meet. If you have to talk to one or two other people, go to their office/desk/lunch table and chat with them. Do not set up a meeting.
  • Deliverables not agendas – do not set agendas for meetings. Set a list of deliverables instead. These could include decisions you know you have to be made, or lists that you have to write, or any other practical outcome. List these on the board at the beginning of the meeting, let anyone add something to the list that might have been missed. Prioritise the list (forced ranking is a great way to do this). Now tick off each deliverable as the meeting progresses. Keep people on target. When the last deliverable is met, CLOSE THE MEETING. Just because you have booked the room for 20 more minutes does not mean you have to use it all that time. Or end with a delta-plus.

All the time saved will will accelerate teams for you.

Accelerating teams with simple changes

There you go: delta plus and the end of endless meetings. It takes small improvements to accelerate teams. Try it out and tell me how it works on twitter: @cauri
-cauri

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