One Artifact, One Vision
We have found that in a conversation with five people, each leaves with different threads resonating. Working as a team on a central artifact – a diagram, a list, a use case, whatever – is an extremely effective way of brokering clarity across a project team.
In the decentralized model, everybody takes personal notes with personal interpretations of the discussion. In some cases, perhaps a project manager or analyst scribes the entire meeting as “meeting notes”. Both are better suited for defense than success. Since there is not a shared “in scope” artifact, everybody will be marching toward personal notes which will be pulled out for defense when something goes wrong, but do not contribute to a success. Scribed meeting notes likewise get filed for defensive use in the end game.
Instead try using a visible central artifact to enable a shared vision:
- Ask people to bring nothing but their thinking caps to your requirements or design meetings.
- Use a whiteboard, blackboard, easel pad, or even post it notes on a wall to capture a shared artifact.
- Put that digital camera phone to use and email out the results – Poof! Instant artifact!
- Post-meeting formalize the notes into an appropriate format and distribute for review.