Graphic Gameplan Your Next Retreat

There’s a fantastic technique over at the Gamestorming Blog called Graphic Gameplan that is great for taking a large, multi-dimensional project (like a law firm retreat or practice group meeting) and breaking it down into manageable chunks that can be done in a planning meeting with all the stakeholders present.

Here’s how it works (go read the Gamestorming post for the full instructions):

3.  Display the graphic (above) on the meeting room wall and tell the players that the goal ofthe meeting is to get consensus around specific tasks required to complete a project.

4. Write the name of the first project to be discussed at the top left of the first column. As the group leader, you can write all associated projects downward in that same column or you can ask the players to add projects that they agree need attention. Either way, you should end up with the relevant projects listed in the leftmost column.

5. Based on the projects listed, either tell the group the time frame and write the milestones in days, weeks, or months along the top row, or ask what they think it should be and write that time frame along the top. (Note: you can also establish a timeline after step 8.)

6. Sticky notes in hand, ask the players to choose a project and agree aloud on the first step required to accomplish it. Write their contribution on the sticky note and post it in the first box next to that project.

7. Ask the players for the second, third, and fourth steps, and so on. Keep writing their comments on sticky notes until they’re satisfied that they’ve adequately outlined each step to complete the project.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for every project on your display, until the game plan is filled out.

After the grid is complete with the project’s steps, make certain there’s an assigned person to do (or at least be responsible for) the task represented on each sticky note.

Using this technique with almost any big project will help kick it off and keep everyone informed on what needs to be done and who’s going to do it!

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