Tool: Using Kanban Board Agendas when facilitating team meetings

By Puk Falkenberg, 8. April 2019

The feeling of getting things done at team meetings

Do you know the feeling of we-didn’t-get-anything-done-at-that-meeting? I sure do. In team meetings, where many different personality types and business roles are gathered, there are different mind patterns present as well as different approaches to how to get things done.

Some prefer a structured agenda with time slots to follow strictly. Others prefer a loosely set agenda with a great amount of flexibility. Those two types seldomly go well together, experiencing different versions of the same meeting.

I love facilitating workshops, team meetings, or other bigger sessions. Seeing how participants get eureka-moments and how new ideas spark gives me so much energy. Because I enjoy this so much, I also try my best to meet those two types on middle ground, making it both structured and flexible at the same time.

And because of that not-getting-things-done-feeling, I combined approaches from the lean, agile and facilitation worlds.

How to make it structured and flexible at the same time

We all have different preferred ways of thinking and approaches to understanding, and we each prioritize elements and items differently. These highlighted bullets are the reasons why you should use a Kanban Board Agenda when facilitating:

  1. Overview: With a Kanban Board Agenda, you’ll get a backlog. A backlog that will visually show your participants or team members the fully agenda for the meeting, satisfying the types who likes a visible agenda with overview.
  2. Ownership: Giving team members a chance to actually have a saying in which topics are on the agenda backlog, involving them in adding or removing any item on it.
  3. Prioritization: We all know that the backlog is some kind of “wish-list” of all the things we want to get done. But we may not have the time for each item. Having the visible backlog and team members pitching in, you also need to facilitate the process of where to begin. Do you just pick a topic, or do you ask what is more pressing or more important to begin with?

I must mention that some type of people still misses the strict time slots and feeling of time control, but when I have explained the level of involvement in the Kanban Board Agenda, they often get it and start enjoying it.