2 Tips for Running an Offsite

January 26, 2009

Recently the executive team here at Miva Direct had a phenomenal offsite meeting.  We were disciplined, focused and produced a comprehensive agenda for Q1 that thus far has been a huge success.  I’m really proud of the team, and I thought I’d share some of the outline I presented prior to the meeting to help keep us on point. 

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  1. Define 4 Key Elements
  2. Define roles and responsibilities

1. Define 4 key elements

  • Defining and organizing the project
    • Define the projects objectives as clearly as possible.
    • Organize the right people and all necessary resources around the objectives
  • Planning the project ie, given our objective.  What set of tasks must we complete?  -GHANT chart etc
  • Managing project execution – should we name a project manager to oversee all execution/timelines etc?
  • Closing down the project – What went well – what went badly – should we do this quarterly etc.

2 .Define roles and responsibilities

Project sponsor

  • Championing the project at the highest level
  • Clearing away organizational obstructions
  • Providing the resources required for success
  • Communicating effectively with CEO about our progress

Project Manager

  • Recruit effective participants
  • Provide framework for the projects activities – timelines
  • Keep vision clear
  • ID resources
  • Mediate conflicts
  • Manage budget
  • Ensure everyone contributes and benefits
  • Keep work on track
  • Assure goals are delivered on time and on budget

Project Leader (s) –

  • Emphasize the higher-level goals of Miva Direct and how successful team action will contribute to them.
  • Emphasize how the other party will benefit by helping the project – ie, product team will benefit if each of our ideas generate revenue
  • Regularly communicate progress and problems with Project Manager
  • Periodically assess team progress, the outlook of members (morale) and how each member views his or her contribution (we need to be aware of how product feels)
  • Do a share of the work
  • Resist the urge to act like a “boss”

 Our offsite while arduous proved to be one of the most effective things our team has done to date.

I’ll keep you posted on our execution of  proposed tactics.

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