Keeping schedule refreshes focused

“It occurs to me that we end up going through the refresh, issues come up, and we need to make sure they are being dealt with. I was going to propose that I gather the issues (limit 3 max to discuss) and that after the Trend is discussed, we can spend 5-minutes making sure specific actions are in-place to address the open issues. How do your other clients deal with these?”

Every client handles this problem differently, the important thing is that issues/technical discussions are logically separated from the Schedule Refresh process (i.e collecting actual information about task “starts” and remaining duration of in-progress tasks), though they can be physically part of the same meeting. The challenge for teams is to not get stuck down rat-holes of endless technical-talk, yet at the same time maintain enough technical discussion to make task updating possible. Doing this well is hard and takes a developed facilitation skill.

Here's a typical flow:

  • Update (10 minutes)

  • Pull-in (10-20 minutes) -- or as needed

  • Analyze Trend (determine gap from target and potential causes/actions needed)

  • Discuss issues (and continue to scrub schedule if needed as a group or with specific individuals as required -- take the more extensive discussions off-line with smaller groups)

Set the timing as needed, but keep within the duration of the allocated meeting time. If more time is needed, it should be scheduled to discuss at a different time or right after the meeting with only those who need to be involved staying.

The key is to keep the Refresh meetings to 30 minutes or less every day.