Team Alignment Workshop

How this team improved their planning meetings in 3 hours

Configurability

It was my immense pleasure to spend the morning with this fun and engaged group of MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) engineers. One of my favorite things about facilitating workshops is that the problems that teams face and the principles to addressing those problems are similar across industries, and this team was a perfect example of that.

The challenge

In light of recent leadership and organizational changes, the team wanted to spend time discussing how to improve team communication and collaboration. They had some struggles around communicating project requirements, and weren’t aligned on processes. This was leading to deadlines getting missed, work having to be re-done, and a general sense of frustration among team members. 

Despite their struggles, the team had a great culture and tons of potential. They just needed to take a step back from the daily grind, and to learn some best practices for communication and collaboration.

The workshop

In just three hours, we were able to:

☑️ Reflect on what was moving the team forward while identifying potential areas of concern

☑️ Learn more about best practices for collaboration in a hands-on & interactive manner

☑️ Identify team principles to ensure the team continues to work together in efficient & effective ways

☑️ Enjoy a team lunch 🙂

My personal favorite part of the day was a “pizza making” activity that I adapted from this agile game. (“Pizzas” were made using paper, but don’t worry — we fed the team real pizza at the end! 🍕) Unlike tradtional team building activties which may or may not translate to working together, this was educational while introducing some friendly competition. In two different rounds, team members got to experience what happens when a project is set up for success, and when it’s not.

Plus, I learned that if you ask a group of engineers to create “pizza” out of pieces of paper, they will find the absolute most efficient way to do so (read: all the pizzas and toppings were rectangular).

Workshop participants learning best practices for decision making

Outcomes

Within a week after the workshop, participants were already noticing positive changes. Participants reported that their team calls were more effective, and that team members were taking more ownership of tasks and communicating more about their available time. I’m honored to be part of this team’s journey, and can’t wait to see what they accomplish!

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