One of my pet bug-bears is project evaluation for the sake of it, as a tickbox exercise.
Done well, there’s so much value that can be mined at the end of projects. And yet I see some organisations just evaluating on the basis of funders’ requirements, with no thought to how they can genuinely learn from the experience in a practical way going forward.
Rather than just focussing on ‘what we’ve done’, I champion an approach that identifies lessons learned and implications for future projects. I want to ensure that good practice is recognised and embedded in organisations, and we avoid duplicating mistakes.
Benefits of a staff reflection workshop:
A staff reflection workshop can be a really useful way of capturing transferable lessons. Done well it can:
- Be a safe space and valued opportunity for participants to have their voices heard
- Help to deepen understanding, collaborative working and relationships amongst the participants
- Enable team members to bounce ideas off each other
- Uncover a wealth of insights and ideas
- Be the basis for a best practice guide for future projects
- Give participants a sense of buy-in and ownership of the best practice guidance
- Be a method to help team members reach consensus
- Act as a type of closure on a project for participants
- Be fun and engaging!
But a session needs careful preparation and facilitation so that it remains constructive and productive and doesn’t degenerate into a whinge-fest, go off tangent for a long period of time or is dominated by a minority.
I have organised and facilitated reflection workshops for a range of different organisations, where participants have comprised members of different internal departments, teams and different organisations.
Here are my top tips for running a constructive team reflection session:Continue reading