Yesterday, the Bean Team kicked off the redesign of Ranger Rick, the leading nature magazine for kids aged 7 and up.
Leading a strategic planning and ideation session with National Wildlife Federation, we collaborated with staff ranging from the editor of the magazine to their content authors, web staff, designers and IT folks.
While there is always a palpable sense of excitement for kickoff meetings, there are often heavy expectations to meet diverse departmental needs, too.
How do you align it all?!
You’ll certainly want to include the usuals like introductions and project management processes, but we have found that one key exercise is the linchpin of a successful project start.
The Goals and Challenges Exercise:
This is both simple and effective to get diverse teams and decisionmakers talking about how to define success, and what hurdles we may need to mitigate.
- Pick one person and have them define what goals they have for the new website from their perspective, and what challenges they think we’ll face during the process.
- Then, go around the table, one by one, with each person articulating their needs and expectations and worries.
- The beauty of this exercise is that everyone gets to articulate their vision from their department or role perspective, and everyone hears how their goals may differ or align. It gets folks thinking about each other’s perspectives right off the bat.Once each attendee has weighed in, we then have the team members discuss any nuances and consolidate their ideas, allowing us to create a shared vision across any potential silos.
- Of course, if folks aren’t in agreement on their top three to five goals, we then make the team dig in right then and there to consolidate their vision, because the worst thing you can do is start a project without all agreeing on what the finish line looks like!
Try this simple but effective activity at the start of YOUR next important project kickoff and let us know how it works for you!