How to Prepare Well for a Quarterly Offsite
Are you also looking forward to your teams’ next quarterly offsite?
Not! Here are some tips to make it into more of a success that everyone can apply.
Now we all know that quarterly offsites are one of the most important levers in driving goal alignment. Making sure everyone knows what to do by when. And ensuring that we have the results at the end of the quarter.
So why do we fret about them so much? Well actually because we just organize a meeting and then we think all the rest of the benefits come for nothing. That is not the case. We need proper preparation and proper facilitation of the meeting to make sure we get the maximum success out of it.
Don’t let your team come unprepared and a little bit reserved. Don’t set it up like everyone will give a presentation about their team and then somehow magically, some consensus should come out of it. That is a bad quarterly offsite and people are right to say: “I don’t really feel like going!”
Here’s what we do instead.
Survey Participants for Input
We start getting people ready for the offsite upfront by asking for their opinion. I typically recommend an anonymous survey so that people can speak truth to power without fear of retaliation.
Custom Agenda & Reading
The common opinions that come out of that will lead into what are the most important points on the agenda. And is there some pre-reading we want people to do? For example, is there an article that gives some further insight?
One of my clients had some issues with product management. So we just said, let’s have an article about product management in general for everyone to read. Even the people outside the department. And it really helped align the expectations about proper product management in a tech company.
What I mean with that is: a few days before the workshop, everyone gets a single sheet that they can structure their thoughts on. Basically by giving a score to the company and several levers. How well have we been doing this last quarter? What are some points that we could improve and coming prepared with those scores.
This worksheet “Preparing for a Quarterly Planning session” is available for download below.