We continue on the subject of productive one hour meetings through the use of problem solving.
In our first one-hour meeting, we suggested working on some things like ground rules, mission statement and expectations to help make group process better. We said at the next meeting a list of problems could be identified. At the third one hour meeting the list of problems could be prioritized making it easier to come to consensus on a starting point.
This week we continue on the next step. Once we have decided on the problem we want to work on, we can spend a one hour meeting on problem solving techniques that will capture data to help us solve our problem.
A variety of techniques can be used depending on the problem. It probably will take a few one hour meetings to work on this. This is the heart of our problem solving. Remember, the more time a group spends researching their problem, the better the outcome. Groups should not be in a hurry during this problem solving step.
It can also be a good idea to have a facilitator or a supervisor acting as a facilitator to help with problem solving techniques and to keep the group focused and motivated. Problem solving techniques that could be used, depending on the problem, could be control charting or cause and effect or more commonly called fishbone diagramming. This can also be a frustrating time for groups because it can be more time consuming and they can feel like very little is getting accomplished which is why a facilitator needs to be available to help groups move forward.
We have shown over the last few weeks how groups can have productive meetings instead of being a waste of time. It cannot be overstated that a facilitator can be a huge benefit for groups so they can be more productive and groups can also be shown techniques they can use later for other meetings.
In addition, this example does not suggest group process is easy. Group process can be difficult because so many points of view are expressed but those points of view can also provide better outcomes on decisions because they give more ideas. In addition, problems can be much better explored than in a traditional problem solving mode where one person decides.
There also is no guarantee a group can move through a problem solving process as quickly as what we’ve described. Our example is merely a guide to have a productive one hour meeting. It’s possible to move through a process just as we have described but it’s not a definite because of many other reasons.
We are not done with this series on productive meetings and will conclude the series in the very near future but it’s important for groups to try this, be diligent and spend the necessary time on each step of the process.