Wednesday 11 February 2015

The Golden Rule of Collaboration

During any project the BIM Lead collaboration meetings are very important, it gives the technical BIM people an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with their colleagues both internally and externally.

For further info on BIM Lead Meetings, check out this posting: Running a BIM Lead Meeting

Here are my Golden Rules for running a Collaboration Meeting.

Everyone is equal
Regardless of your position, everyone is a participant in the meeting and a valuable contributor to the conversation.
Values everyone time and allow them the opportunity to contribute to the meeting regardless how minor the issue may seem. these meetings are a great opportunity to address these minor issues before they develop into larger issues.

Encourage difference of opinion
Establish an environment where participants are encouraged to freely express their views and opinions in a safe atmosphere.  To find the best solution to any problem may require out of the box thinking and bringing up points that not everyone may consider.

Have an agenda.... but be flexible
Sending out a meeting agenda gives the participants time to prepare, prompt questions so people can bring answers to the meeting. People love getting solutions from meetings, not more tasks and questions than when they came.
Stick to the agenda where possible and include time for any important business that may arise. Make clear notes on decisions and points that were made, send out a draft copy for participants input. you cant be expected to remember everything and run the meeting...

Decide and move on
Make a decision and then move on to the  next agenda item. Don't let someone who disagrees with the decision dictate the rest of the meeting. If necessary ask the person to continue the discussion after the meeting.
As the facilitator you dictate the amount of time spent on each agenda topic, manage your time wisely and keep the meeting moving forward otherwise you'll lose the interest of people and people wont want to attend your meetings in the future.
Taking a short bathroom break is a good way to put a topic to bed and move on.
Get to the point; At the end of each agenda item summarise the conclusion for all and move on to the next item.

Facilitating the meeting means that you set the tone for the meeting, direct the conversation and have the ability to stimulate the discussion. Use the agenda as a road map but don't be afraid to explore the side roads as the meeting requires, you never know where they're going to lead and if they go too far into the woods bring it back on track. :-)


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