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How to Facilitate a Continuous Improvement Readout and Planning Session for Leaders

Workshop Purpose

Continuous Improvement Leadership Teams help teams to mature by removing obstacles and providing support for issues teams cannot resolve independently. In the Continuous Improvement Readout and Planning Session, you will take a deep dive into teams' performance, analyzing their radars, identifying top areas for growth and developing a concrete plan for removing organizational obstacles in the next quarter/Program Increment (PI).

The first time the team comes together to plan, you will need at least a half-day. After that, plan on 90-120 minutes for this quarterly workshop.

Workshop Deliverables

Deliverables from the workshop include the below:

  • 2-3 Organizational Growth Items are agreed on by the team to work on in the upcoming quarter/PI, with clear acceptance criteria and measurable results
  • Owners are identified for each Growth Item
  • The next steps are planned (who, what and by when) for each Growth Item
  • The team agrees on a plan for leadership checkpoints 

Workshop Attendees & Facilitator

Attendees: Leaders and Coaches of a Program, Line of Business, Agile Release Train or Portfolio
Facilitator: Program-level Agile Coach, with experience as an AgilityHealth® Facilitator

Sample Workshop Agenda

Intro and Present Summary Observations

Introduction, Meeting Purpose & Norms

5 Min

Summary of Observations (strengths, opportunities, recommendations)

15 Min

Small-Group Breakout - Analysis, Discussion

Analyze the Data & Facilitate Conversation

30 Min

Review Organizational Growth Items & Facilitate Conversation

30 Min

Growth Plan Items and Next Steps

Identify Top 2-3 Growth Items 

15 Min

Next Steps - Gain Consensus on Ownership and Leadership Checkpoints

10 Min

Session Retrospective

5 Min

Workshop Preparation

  1. Set up the multi-team in AgilityHealth® or review and update the existing multi-team. This will allow team members to be assigned as Owners for Organizational and Enterprise Growth Items. 
  2. Schedule the meeting and send an invitation
  3. Work with your Company Admin to make sure that all participants have an account set up in AgilityHealth® with the appropriate role, which will most likely be Org Leader. This will allow them to create an AgilityHealth® account, pull OGI's, etc.
  4. Review and prepare the multi-team data and organizational growth items (OGIs) in advance of the meeting. Download the PowerPoint template at the bottom of this article - you do not have to use this but it may provide you a great starting point! We've even included a Facilitation Guide for you!
  5. If this is the first time the team is coming together to plan, schedule extra time for the meeting. Consider beginning the meeting with the Overview for Leaders seminar, if attendees have not been introduced to AgilityHealth®, or provide this presentation beforehand.

Facilitation Tips

Download the Facilitator's Notes at the bottom of this article. We've summarized some of the highlights for you below:

Summary of Observations: Share your observations and recommendations with the group (from your pre-meeting preparation and analysis) so that they have a starting point for their analysis and discussion

Breakout - Analyze the Data: Break into smaller groups of 2-3 people to focus on different areas of analysis and then report back to the larger group. Ideas for focus areas include:

  • Multi-Team Roll-up Radar and Analytics Table
  • Maturity Level and the Maturity Model/Roadmap
  • Filtering the Radar by Role and Participant Group
  • Quantitative Delivery Metrics (if available)
  • Growth Journey
  • Review Team Comments, if the feature is available for your company and your user type

Breakout - Review Organizational Growth Items: Break into smaller groups of 2-3 people to focus on each of the themes and report back to the larger group.

  • You may want to pair leaders based on their area of expertise to focus on growth items relating to their area, such as Agile, DevOps, Management, Product, etc.
  • Have each group review, group closely related items, identify affected teams, clarify the descriptions and add acceptance criteria for the Growth Items created by the teams. 
  • The groups may also add additional growth items based on the analysis and discussion.

Identify Top 2-3 Growth Items: Prioritize the list of Growth Items (consider using Idea Board to vote) and select the few top items the team wants to focus on in this quarter/PI. 

Refine the Top Issues: Determine whether the top issues are epics that will need to be broken down into smaller stories (document this as an action item) or are small enough to be completed within an iteration. Make any additional updates to acceptance criteria, if needed. Determine how results can be measured and the competency or competencies that are being targeted for improvement. 

Gain Consensus on Ownership: At least one person will need to volunteer to take ownership of each growth item. 

Gain Consensus on Leadership Checkpoints: Facilitate a discussion with the group to determine the ceremonies and cadence that they can agree to and encourage a quarterly demo to the team to show resolved impediments.  

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