Debriefing an Agendashift survey

I’ve done quite a few of these now, including four on consecutive days during a week-long trip to Northern Ireland last month. Here’s my basic structure:

    1. Overall and category summaries, high level narrative
    2. The best of the best – the strongest few prompts of the strongest categories
    3. Divergence – the prompts with the widest range of scores
    4. Agenda for change – the prompts that most represent priorities for change
    5. Action

Much of this depends on the facilitator having access to functionality that isn’t available to everyone. If you don’t, refer to the offer at the end of this post.

How long does it take? Well… how long do you have? I have no trouble mixing debriefing with a little training, and easily filling a whole day. On the other hand, you can cover the gist of it in a few minutes if you’re in a hurry.

1. Overall and category summaries, high level narrative

The survey owner (and other participants, if enabled by the owner) has a link from the survey page to a charts page. From there, and with the sort order set to ‘Strongest’, scroll down to these:

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 17.06.36

This example was taken after a Featureban game, so it should not come as a surprise that Balance comes out as the top category – very rare in real life!

I’d be asking:

  1. (Looking at the chart on the left) Don’t be too disappointed with those 1’s and 2’s (“Barely started” and “Early gains”). Our global survey shows similar results so you’re in good company!
  2. Are you pleased to see Balance, Transparency and Collaboration as your top three? Surprised? What does it say to you? How do these results relate to your organisation’s most recognised values?
  3. What about the bottom three – Flow, Customer focus, and Leadership? Could they be related? Note: I often see Balance down there with Flow and/or Collaboration; this should be easy to explain – overburdened systems don’t flow and people are spread too thinly to collaborate!

2. The best of the best

The top few prompts of the top few categories give a good opportunity to discuss what’s working and what progress has been made recently.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 17.36.54

If you’re familiar with the game, you’ll know that Balance (between demand and capacity) is an area in which huge strides are made between the first and second iterations. I continue in this vein until we’re obviously looking at more mediocre or controversial scores.

3. Divergence

Often the most interesting conversations arise over the prompts over which there is the least consensus. Sorting by ‘Divergence’ highlights these:

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 17.08.37

There is definitely some room for debate here. Yes, we meet regularly, but are we really reviewing and improving our outputs and processes?

Note that prompt 3.1 doesn’t have a particularly wide spread, but its 1’s contribute significantly to a wide spread for the category as a whole (we’re using the “mini” template here, just 3 prompts per category).

4. Agenda for change

Looking first at the “weakest of the weak” but then more broadly, what prompts would we prioritise? Which seem the most pertinent? We try to identify a top 3 and then a top 1.

You have a couple of choices here, both of which require degree of preparation:

  1. You might already have invited people to ‘star’ categories and prompts in the ‘Agenda’ tab of the assessment tool; if this is the case you can sort the charts page by ‘Starred’
  2. Facilitate it yourself using your preferred tools (eg dot voting)

I’m not super-happy with the usability of the ‘Agenda’ tab; as discussed in the previous post, I have been known to input this data myself from my notes. More often than not I opt for the second approach.

Time permitting, you might like to facilitate the authoring of a narrative version of the agenda for change, incorporating values that categorise the chosen prompts and some statement of intent. I’d recommend doing this in small groups, potentially before the consensus priority list has been agreed.

5. Action

Now we generate actions for our prioritised prompts. I always start this silently with a two or three sticky notes per person, so that multiple ideas get generated and everyone gets a chance. Prioritise again, using your preferred tool (dot voting, Thirty-Five aka “pass the cards”, etc).

Beyond the scope of this post:

  1. How best to frame, explore, and organise actions – a key part of our 1-day training workshop, some clues here also
  2. How to ensure that actions will actually be followed through. Ironically, this a popular reason for the Leadership category to score less than it might! We touch on this in the 1-day class but it’s much more the territory of the 2-day training workshop on values-based leadership.

To repeat the offer that closed the previous post, do ask, telling me a little about your context. Agendashift is not (yet) a paid product but we do need feedback.

And do join our LinkedIn group. We’re acting on feedback and tweaking the tools constantly; it’s the best place for sharing your experiences, informing our thinking, and generally keeping track of what we’re up to!

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