Meeting Agenda Template

Plan and deliver effective meetings with GroupMap’s Meeting Agenda Template

What is a meeting agenda template?

A meeting agenda template is a tool designed to make building an agenda easy. It does this by helping to gather all the elements needed to plan and deliver an effective meeting.

A meeting agenda template offers a customisable framework that can be shared by everyone who is involved in the meeting. This helps to set a collaborative tone even before the meeting begins.

Because everyone can see and contribute to the template, stakeholders have shared ownership of the meeting process. This increases buy-in, which contributes to meeting effectiveness.

GroupMap’s meeting agenda template includes nine elements to get you started:

  • Meeting details
  • Meeting Materials
  • Attendance
  • Apologies
  • Previous Business
  • Reports
  • New Business
  • Actions
  • Parked Items

Why use a meeting agenda template?

A meeting agenda template makes organizing a meeting faster and easier, without sacrificing attention to detail.

While the importance of an agenda is well-known, it’s often given a low priority. Its preparation can be overshadowed by more urgent matters. It can be allocated to a person who has the time rather than the expertise to deliver an agenda. It can be pulled together ‘on the fly and so can lack clarity of process.

A meeting agenda template overcomes all of these obstacles as well as delivers other benefits by –

  • Presenting an easy-to-follow structure to which everyone can contribute.
  • Delivering a transparent meeting planning process.
  • Sharing the agenda building process, thereby reducing the time any one person needs to allocate to its delivery.
  • Leveraging the expertise of the whole group in support of the planning process.
  • Including documents as attachments, so they are easy to distribute to the group and document control is effortlessly supported.

The meeting agenda template reduces the time required to document the meeting itself. This is because key information and discussion points have already been recorded.

You can also use it to:

  • Set clear, organization-wide, meeting standards that deliver consistency between meetings and across teams
  • Capture key documents for good governance
  • Track outputs and decision points
  • Make it easier to rotate the meeting facilitator role
  • Provide an opportunity for all meeting participants to contribute and feel heard
  • Deliver all meetings types including online, hybrid, and asynchronous
  • Build a psychologically safe meeting space

Related templates

  • House Rules
  • Photo Wall
  • Two Truths and One Lie
  • Exit Ticket 3-2-1

Tips for effective meeting agendas

Who should use a meeting agenda template?

Anyone looking to support the delivery of a meeting can use a meeting agenda template. It is a really straightforward brainstorming meeting tool that can super-charge the effectiveness of any type of meeting.

As such, the template could be used by:

  • Meeting Facilitators
  • Executive Officers
  • Company Secretaries
  • Team Leads and Managers

It is a great tool to reduce the time burden of meetings while improving participation rates and record-keeping accuracy.

Meeting agenda template format

meeting-agenda-template-image

How to create a meeting agenda template

When it comes to remote and distributed meeting participants, this online template is a real game-changer. It means everyone can be actively involved in the planning process and so completely up to speed when the meeting itself starts.

Of course, with the template populated, moving to the next step of delivering the meeting online can be done seamlessly.

Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools allow facilitators to deliver inclusive meetings. GroupMap’s meeting agenda template has been designed with this in mind. It can be used with any group type (co-located, hybrid or remote). So it’s a cost-effective way of removing geographical barriers to participation.

The time it takes to complete a meeting agenda template depends on the nature of the meeting and the detail required. Sharing the template with plenty of lead time will allow contributors to work it in with their own schedules. This will help deliver a better quality outcome.

How to use a meeting agenda template

Set agenda elements

Define the sections of the meeting agenda template

Invite

Invite contributors

Brainstorm

Populate each section of the meeting agenda template

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Fun and Easy Retrospective Alternatives

GroupMap’s fun agile retrospectives. Creative and fun ways of running focussed and effective retrospective meetings with your team.

Why Run a Fun Agile Retrospective?

Running fun agile retrospectives can help inject fresh perspectives into your meetings. They can also help address bad habits or antipatterns.

Fun agile retrospectives still support your team’s continuous improvement journey as they come together to connect, reflect and improve. They continue to deliver the benefits of traditional retrospectives such as – 

  • Giving your team the space to safely engage in healthy dissent and shape next steps.
  • Empowering teams through collaboration to solve problems and own the process.
  • Regularly identifying and addressing any problems before they escalate.

Fun agile retrospectives also – 

  • Tap into your team’s creative side.
  • Help your team consider their sprint from a fresh perspective.
  • Inject an element of fun in your retrospective meeting.
  • Change the focus of the retrospective.

If you sense your team is not really engaging with their traditional retrospective or simply on ‘retro-autopilot’ then try one of these alternative agile retrospectives.

Our Fun and Easy Retrospectives

Our team has hand-picked our top four fun retrospectives to help your team reflect and improve. 

  • Starfish retrospective
    An action and behavior-based retrospective that improves the way the team works.
  • Anchors and engines retrospective
    For addressing velocity and progress based on what is driving and slowing down the team.
  • Sailboat retrospective
    A goal-oriented retrospective that helps steer your team in the right direction
  • Hot air balloon retrospective
    Take a higher-level view that also acknowledges the team.
Tips for effective agile retrospective 

What is a Starfish Retrospective? 

 

The starfish retrospective was designed by Patrick Kua. It offers a different lens through which a group may review their work. It helps them to think about the varying degrees of the value of their actions and efforts.

In other words, unlike more traditional retrospectives, the starfish retrospective goes beyond creating a list of what happened or didn’t happen. It invites a group to think about and assess the practices that generated value. In doing so, the group can decide which should receive more energy and which should receive less. This then informs the group’s next steps.

Given that the focus of the starfish retrospective is on ‘current practice’, it’s best run after a number of retrospectives have occurred. This gives the group a greater timeframe of activity for them to consider. The starfish retrospective focuses on five areas:

  • What should we start doing?
  • What should we stop doing?
  • What should we keep doing?
  • What should we do more of?
  • What should we do less of?

Why Do a Starfish Retrospective?

Using a starfish retrospective helps a group refine their actions for future sprints. With it, they can examine the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ they do. This could include how they work within the organization and the way they work together as a team. 

With this in mind, GroupMap’s starfish retrospective does more than support your team’s review of their last sprint. It helps you reinforce healthy workplace habits by empowering your team to pursue their own continuous improvement.

Starfish Retrospective Template

What is Anchors and Engines Retrospective?

The anchors and engines agile retrospective is the perfect tool to use when you want to review the velocity of a project. It aims to identify the things that are impacting your team’s productivity.

The anchors and engines retrospective is intentionally simple. The team can share what is slowing them down (anchors) and speeding them up (engines). This could include difficulties with sticking to the critical path, meeting agreed outputs, or delivering goals. GroupMap’s anchors and engines retrospective focuses on two areas:

  • Anchors
  • Engines

Why Do an Anchors and Engines Retrospective?

Using an anchors and engines agile retrospective helps teams shape the next steps with the end goal in full view. It is a great tool for teams who might be in the middle of the project and finding that their progress has not been what they would like it to be or where people have experienced frustrations. The anchors and engines retrospective allows you to identify barriers so they can be addressed.

Anchors and Engines Retrospective Templateanchors and engine template image

What is a Hot Air Balloon Retrospective?

The hot air balloon retrospective is a simple, creative take on traditional retrospectives. Like the agile and 4Ls retrospectives, the hot air balloon retrospective supports the continuous improvement of a product or program.

A hot air balloon is used as a metaphor to help identify specific elements of a team’s most recent work, sprint or iteration. Additionally, it recognizes and acknowledges the effort of team members. GroupMap’s hot air balloon retrospective focuses on three areas:

Why Do a Hot Air Balloon Retrospective?

Using a hot air balloon retrospective can change up your retrospective game. It helps you reinforce a positive working environment by inspiring your team to recognize the efforts of others and helps you understand what is lifting them up, and dragging them down. It helps to improve the morale of the workplace and the team. By knowing this, your role as the Scrum Master can help remove the weights that are dragging or slowing them down and find ways to lift them up. Examples of things that are keeping us down could be some unnecessary bureaucracy, waiting on approval that may have slipped through the cracks or lack of automated testing. Examples of what is making us fly could be great tooling, process quality or efficient decision making processes.

  • What is making us fly?
  • What is keeping us down?
  • Hugs and kudos

Hot Air Balloon Retrospective Template

hot-air-balloon-template-image

What is a Sailboat Retrospective?

The sailboat retrospective is a great way to reflect on the goals of a sprint while keeping risks in mind. The retrospective uses a sailboat as a metaphor and is a great way of addressing issues relating to a specific goal. 

The sailboat retrospective focuses on three areas:

  • Wind
  • Anchors
  • Rocks

The neat thing about this format is that it can be used both as a retrospective or futurespective mindset.

In a retrospective format, the team thinks about their goal for the current sprint. They share things that slowed them down (anchors), sped them up (wind), and hazards or issues along the way (rocks). This gives them a shared experience that helps them tackle the next sprint with more confidence.

In a futurespective format, the goal of the next sprint is shared. Then the team brainstorms the potential anchors, wind and rocks that might come up. They can then create actions associated with this.

Why Do a Sailboat Retrospective?

A sailboat retrospective is a useful futurespective exercise. It is a simple technique that could be used by agile teams of all levels of experience. It helps teams shape next steps that leverage drivers (wind), reduce hindrances (anchors), and navigate around risks (rocks).

Using the sailboat metaphor helps the team tap into their creative side. It encourages them to view their context differently. In doing so, they are encouraged to come up with different solutions to address any challenges.

A team can use the sailboat retrospective to capture the broad range of factors affecting their success. Together, they can clearly define the next steps they agree to follow to reach their goal as quickly as possible.

Like our other retrospectives, it supports forward planning while learning from the past. Importantly, the sailboat retrospective helps you to identify risks so they can be avoided or addressed.

Sailboat Retrospective Template

sailboat-template-image

Who Should Use a Fun Retrospective?

Agile software development teams were the first to use retrospectives. However, with agile practices now used across a number of industries, the fun agile retrospectives can be applied to almost any undertaking.

Our fun agile retrospectives are broadly used brainstorming tools. They could be used to support a team’s regular review of – 

  • a project
  • a process
  • a program 

that they wish to improve.

As such, fun agile retrospectives could be used by:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Iteration Managers
  • Innovation Officers
  • Team Leaders
  • Program Coordinators

Anyone overseeing a team who is looking to support their continuous improvement would benefit from their use.

How to Run a Fun Agile Retrospective

To make your retrospective fun, introduce the change of the format with energy and a reason as to why you are using an alternative agile retrospective format.  Introducing a theme, adding some background music or images or other novelty can certainly add a new dimension and energy to the meeting.

Because it might be a change from the standard agile retrospective, it would be worth a quick explanation of the angle of the retrospective and the new format.

In the case of remote and distributed teams, it can be difficult to get everyone together in the same room at the same time. Delivering the retrospective online is the ideal way of engaging all team members. Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools such as GroupMap allow facilitators to deliver inclusive retrospectives. 

How to Use a Fun Template to Run a Better Retrospective

Brainstorm

Discuss and populate each section of the agile retrospective template.

Group

Discuss and group any common themes.

Vote

Vote on the key ideas you wish to action.

Action Plan

Identify actions for each priority idea. Assign responsibility and timeframes to a group or individual.

Share

Share the outcomes of the session, including the action plan, to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

The ESVP Agile Retrospective Check In

GroupMap’s ESVP template. An easy and simple way to help set the stage for your retrospective or team meeting.

What is an ESVP? 

ESVP is an exercise created by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. Its goal is to help set the stage for a retrospective.

The ESVP was designed to engage and focus on those involved in the retrospective. At the same time, it gained insight into the participants’ attitudes towards the agile retrospective meeting itself.

While it’s still a popular way to kick off a retrospective, ESVPs are now used more widely. They can be icebreakers used to warm up any type of meeting or collaborative session. They can also be used at any point during a session as a temperature check.

ESVP stands for ‘Explorers, Shoppers, Vacationers and Prisoners’. Participants are invited to indicate the persona with whom they most relate at that point in time.

An ESVP focuses on four areas:

  • Explorer – Will dive in and discover new things.
  • Shopper – Will see what can be procured.
  • Vacationer – Will relax and switch off.
  • Prisoner – Does not want to be there.

Terms that are used by some groups may not be used by others. That’s why all of GroupMap’s templates are customisable. You could, for example, change ‘Vacationer’ to ‘Observer’ if you feel that word better suits your group.

Why Do an ESVP?

Using an ESVP at the start of your meeting can give everyone insight into the current motivations of the group. This means you’ll get more out of your meeting because you can see the attitudes and expectations of the people there. An ESVP check in exercise helps to create tiny yet powerful threads of connection between meeting participants. These connections help sow the seeds of collaboration. 

Setting the stage with an ESVP can also help a facilitator gauge the attitudes of the people in the room. This lets the facilitator shape their next steps and helps everyone make the most of their meeting time.

You can use it to:

  • Softly launch your meeting
  • Easily gauge the ‘vibe’ of the group
  • Decide on how you want to approach the retrospective meeting

Who Should Use an ESVP?

The ESVP is an insightful tool and can be used by:

  • Scrum Masters
  • Iteration Managers
  • Coordinators
  • Team Leaders
  • Teachers
  • Trainers
  • Facilitators

In a nutshell, people who are working with groups in order to deliver outcomes would benefit from adding an EVSP to their toolkit.

Tips for an effective ESVP

ESVP Template

Explorer

Will dive in and discover new things.

  • Eager to examine possibilities
  • Positive attitude and high energy
  • Motivated by the chance to learn and open to where that may head

Shopper

Will see what can be procured.

  • Happy to consider the possibilities
  • Reasonably positive attitude and medium energy
  • Motivated by chance of finding something of benefit

Vacationer

Will relax and switch off.

  • Indifferent to possibilities
  • Passive attitude and low energy
  • Motivated by the chance to disengage

Prisoner

Will not want to be here.

  • Resistant to possibilities
  • Closed attitude and medium to high energy 
  • Motivated by the requirement to attend

How to Create an ESVP

Creating an ESVP is very straightforward. It simply presents people with four categories and asks them to pick one.

To start a face-to-face meeting, a flipchart or whiteboard divided into four zones could be used. People then place a post-it or mark an ‘X’ on the area they wish. To support anonymity, a post-it with an E, S, V, or P could be dropped into a hat with a facilitator recording the results for all to see.

A different approach is needed when it comes to remote and distributed teams. Getting everyone together in the same room at the same time may not be possible. So delivering the ESVP online is the ideal way of engaging all team members.

Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools allow facilitators to deliver inclusive ESVPs. GroupMap’s ESVP template has been designed with this in mind. It can be used with any type of team (co-located, hybrid or remote). 

The time it takes to deliver an ESVP meeting will vary depending on the number of people in the session. With that said, it’s possible to deliver an ESVP online in less than five minutes. This includes sharing time.

GroupMap has included two steps in its ESVP template. The template is designed to allow participants a single anonymous response. 

How to Use an ESVP to Run Better Meetings

Brainstorm

Have individuals place an X on an area of the template.

Share

Share the responses to the exercise.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

DAKI Retrospective

GroupMap’s DAKI agile retrospective. A creative and simple way of running easy and effective retrospective meetings with your team

What is a DAKI Retrospective?

The DAKI retrospective is short for the Drop Add Keep Remove retrospective. It helps a team reflect on the different processes they use in order to achieve their goal. They can assess the value of each process and take action to help them perform more effectively.

It’s a great tool to use later on in the project cycle. This way the team has the chance to view how each process has (or hasn’t) contributed to their progress to date.

The DAKI retrospective is really simple but  thorough. Some say it takes the start stop continue retrospective up a level. As well as identifying actions they feel they should drop, add and keep, the team has the chance to explore ways to improve processes.  

The DAKI retrospective is a great way of supercharging a high-functioning team.

GroupMap’s DAKI retrospective focuses on four areas:

  • Drop – these are the actions that aren’t delivering value.
  • Add– these are the things the team wishes to include
  • Keep – these are the actions that deliver value as they are
  • Improve – these are currently happening and could deliver greater value

Like all of GroupMap’s templates, the DAKI retrospective can be customized to make it your own. This means you could, for example, add other areas of focus such as ‘Hugs and kudos’’ to identify the achievements of individual team members.

Why do a DAKI  Retrospective?

Using a DAKI retrospective is great for all types of agile teams.

It’s a good tool to use to address retro-autopilot (when people give similar responses at each retrospective). It’s also great to use if your team feels they are in a rut. Using the DAKI will help shake things up and refocus the team.

The DAKI retrospective can also help the team recalibrate after a challenging sprint. It gives people the opportunity to drop the actions that made things difficult. The team, therefore, benefits from the lessons of the past.

A team can use the DAKI retrospective to clearly define the next steps they agree to follow to reach their goal as quickly as possible.

You can use it to:

  • Assess processes and identify and address any small problems so they don’t grow into big ones.
  • Provide an opportunity for all team members to be heard.
  • Come together as a team to connect, reflect and improve.
  • Give team members an opportunity to share their ideas
  • Leverage the knowledge and experience of the whole team to shape next steps.
  • Empower teams through collaboration to solve problems, build solutions and own the processes they design to deliver success.
  • Offer your team the chance to safely engage in healthy dissent with a view to building better solutions.

Who should use a DAKI Retrospective?

With agile practices now used across a number of industries, the DAKI retrospective could support teams of all types.

 DAKI retrospective could be used by:

  • Innovation Officers
  • Team Leaders
  • Program CoordinatorsAll project teams
  • Scrum Masters
  • Iteration Managers

It is a great tool to support a team’s continuous improvement.

Related templates

Tips for effective retrospectives

DAKI Retrospective Template

Drop

These things could be distracting or time-wasting. They do not bring value.

Question to ask:

  • What’s stopping you from focusing?
  • What makes your job difficult?
  • What takes up most of your time?

Add

New ideas and fresh innovations.

Questions to ask:

  • What has worked for other teams?
  • What haven’t we tried?
  • What would you love to try?

Keep

These things are going well and continue to support the team.

Question to ask:

  • What’s running as it should?
  • What can we rely on?
  • What’s delivering value?

Improve

These are current actions that need tweaks to be more effective.

Questions to ask:

  • What has even more potential?
  • What do we know could be better?
  • What can we refine?

How to Create a DAKI Retrospective

A DAKI retrospective is a chance for the team to reflect on how they spent their time and where they directed their energy. It helps them define issues that can be solved, and shape the next steps. It’s important to have all team members involved. 

In the case of remote and distributed teams, it can be difficult to get everyone together in the same room at the same time. Delivering the retrospective online is the ideal way of engaging all team members.

Screen sharing software, video conferencing, and online collaboration tools allow facilitators to deliver inclusive retrospectives. GroupMap’s anchors and engines retrospective has been designed with this in mind. It can be used with any type of team (co-located, hybrid or remote). So it’s a cost-effective way of delivering focused, effective retrospectives.

The time it takes to run a DAKI retrospective meeting will vary depending on the scope of the session. Setting and keeping to “timeboxes” for each stage can help streamline the process. Teams should be able to identify and prioritize issues and develop an action plan in less than 30 minutes.

GroupMap has included five key steps in its DAKI template. However, like all our templates, it can be customized to include additional process steps (such as rating) to support your group’s collaborative process.

How to Use a DAKI Template to Run a Better Retrospective

Brainstorm

Discuss and populate each section of the DAKI retrospective.

Group

Discuss and group any common ideas.

Prioritize

Vote on the key areas you need to take action on.

Action Plan

Identify actions for each priority idea. Assign responsibility and timeframes to a group or individual.

Share

Share the outcomes of the session, including the action plan, to relevant stakeholders.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

SMART Goal Template

What are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Goal setting is well known to help teams deliver value. Goals help to equitably allocate tasks, track progress, manage time and focus effort. Defining meaningful goals, however, can sometimes be tricky.

Enter George Doran, the person credited with developing the SMART approach to goal setting. In his paper, “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”, Doran presented an approach to help demystify the goal setting process and “write meaningful objectives”, and with it, SMART goals were born! SMART goals are a justifiably popular mechanism. They are an exceptional tool to help your team capture and articulate their vision and agree to the measurements of success. 

Your team can use a SMART framework anytime you want to set, review or refine your goals. And if you’re looking for a way to foster a sense of collaboration and empower your team with a shared purpose, defining SMART goals is a great way to do it.
Related templates
Meeting tips using the SMART Goals technique

Why Use SMART Goals?

When it comes to goal setting, a SMART framework will help your team cut to the chase! It will support and focus your team as they shape clear goals that are realistic, actionable and effective. Not only will a SMART framework help your team define their goals efficiently, it will capture those goals so they can be clearly, concisely, and easily shared with new team members and other stakeholders.

A SMART framework helps to confirm your goals – are worth delivering, can be tracked to demonstrate change, are correctly resourced, and are appropriately aligned.

A goal like Improving fitness is too general. A SMART goal would be to be able to run 10KMs in under an hour by July is far more meaningful and focussed.

When Should I Shape a SMART Goal?

All common types of goals can be improved when viewed through a SMART lens. Examples of common goals include:

  • Increasing or reducing something – Reduce the error rates of a production of product X by the next financial year by 5%.
  • Making or creating something – Introduce 3 working prototype variations by the next quarter for an innovative approach to wear and tear detection.
  • Refining, improving or developing something – Improve the yield rate by 0.5% through introduction of new pesticide routines.

Defining a goal to include key parameters, resources, timeframe and metrics, brings greater clarity to a shared team vision. So, whenever you shape a goal, make it a SMART!

SMART Goal Template Example

To get the most out of the SMART Goals template, first utilise a simple brainstorm to capture all the goals your team may wish to deliver, then review it to identify the goal you wish to expand into a SMART Goal.

When you’re working with a large or distributed team, getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, inconvenient, and costly. Using different technologies like video conferencing, online forms, and collaborative brainstorming software such as GroupMap can help overcome these challenges. 

Objective: Define the clear objective your team wants to deliver 

Brainstorm: Gather inputs from each person 

Share and communicate: Confirm everyone’s understanding of the SMART GOAL

How to Use the SMART Goals Template to Run Better Meetings

Objective

Share the context for the SMART Goal

Brainstorm

Add ideas under each heading of the
SMART Goal Template

Share and Communicate

Confirm the results from the teams and get buy-in

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

DMAIC Analysis Template

What is a DMAIC Analysis Template?

This is a structured approach to solve problems using the roadmap to (D) Define, (M) Measure, (A) Analyze, (I) Improve and (C) Control a particular issue or problem. It was developed as part of the Six Sigma initiative as part of a quality improvement procedure. 

It can help create significant improvements by offering a more streamlined approach with a 5 step plan. It can be implemented as a standalone quality improvement procedure or part of the process improvement initiatives such as lean. 

The DMAIC Methodology aims to help teams improve by stepping through an iterative process that takes them through a problem definition phase all the way to being able to verify effectiveness of proposed solutions.

The 5 factors of DMAIC are as follows:

  • Define – This where the team starts by trying to develop a specific definition of the problem or goal. This helps to set the context for the team and to focus their attention to.

  • Measure – These are metrics that you can use to track or measure the problem. It could be a pareto chart based on error rates, hours of rework, throughput or creating a capability analysis.

  • Analyze – Now it’s time to get to the root cause of the issue and to look at potential causes of what might be creating the problem in the first place or is causing the problem to be repeated. The root causes can be listed and prioritised (e.g. through rating or dot voting) to pursue in the Improve step.

  • Improve – This is where the team looks at performance improvements that can address and eliminate root causes. This could be through the design of experiments that help to isolate a key factor or variable through to a skunkworks project through to an innovation process. The improvements should lead to positive changes in the items described in the measure step.

  • Control – These are actions and systems to ensure quality and sustainability of the improvements and to allow for adjustments over time.
Related templates

Tips for completing a DMAIC Analysis

  • Work through one column from left to right. Jumping ahead will defeat the purposes of the DMAIC flow.

  • Use prioritisation techniques such as voting to gain consensus from the team in each step.

  • Capturing comments is a great way to seek clarification, get more understanding and ensure buy in as you go through the problem solving steps.

  • It’s important to only focus on one key issue at a time per DMAIC. if there is a new issue that arises, then create a new DMAIC template and run that as a separate exercise.

Why should I use DMAIC?

The DMAIC problem-solving method provides a logical problem solving approach, but has a strong emphasis on data. It can drive accountability and measurable success not just by a good definition of the problem, but adds on the elements of how you can measure and therefore control errors in a sustainable way. This helps to build team accountability and also focus on what elements of the problem the team can change in order to address the root causes for the problem. 

One of the key features of this six sigma methodology approach is that it offers a logical approach to looking at an issue and can be run in it’s entirety for each problem or issue. This makes it suitable for teams that might be struggling with a current problem and not being able to see various solutions. All of this will help add value to the customer, reduce cycle time, help with employee motivation and also reduce error costs.

Who should use DMAIC?

  • Six Sigma Leaders and teams
  • Process improvement teams and coaches
  • Change managers and innovation teams
  • Project Managers

Example of a Six Sigma DMAIC Model Template

Having a simple template can be the canvas for your team to start improving process outputs and address any problems. You can start by sharing the process name, or overall goal as the main topic of your project. E.g. Error rates in production of good X. Then working through the DMAIC process, each person can share their ideas and thoughts collaboratively (or individually) based on their experience. It is usually advisable to step people through the template one column at a time, creating definition of one before moving to the other. Having a clear definition for example will then make the rest of the process more meaningful. 

The DMAIC template offers a high level question which can help the team get started but you can of course customise this to suit. By using the thumbs up and thumbs down voting as you go through the steps will allow you to build consensus along the way. The outputs of of one step, e.g. Define, feeds into the next Measure, and so on. By using the consensus building approach, you get an overall view and perspective of how you have addressed the problem, the root causes and how you would monitor and measure over time.

How to use the DMAIC Analysis template to run better meetings

Set the stage

Define the problem

Brainstorm

Share ideas in order of the DMAIC Process

Variations

Vary the headers for your team as needed

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting)

About the PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) Template

What is Plus, Minus, Interesting (PMI)?

A critical thinking and brainstorming tool, PMI was developed by Dr. Edward de Bono. it fosters discussion of an idea from multiple points of view, specification what is positive (plus), negative (minus) and what might be neither but is worth considering (interesting). It can be used for a retrospective exercise or a futurespective one depnding on the context of the topic.

As one of simplest templates to use, the goal is simply to provide everyone the opportunity to express their views from different perspectives. The PMI Template is essentially lists headers of Plus, Minus and Interesting and allows participants to add ideas in, either one column at a time, or across the whole template depending on the style of your convsersations. By using the template and having people brainstorm individually, there is less group think and bias and anchoring of ideas or opinons.

Related templates
Examples of PMI statements

Who Should Use the PMI Framework?

  • Agile or scrum teams
  • Change managers
  • Workshop facilitators
  • Policy and change makers
  • Teams having to evaluate a decision or outcome
  • Project teams, including remote teams
  • Education settings and lesson plans

Why Should I Run a PMI Retrospective?

The simple goal of Dr De Bono was to overcome some of the narrow views that can be shared when a person expresses their opinion. By considering the plus, minus and interesting aspects of the same decision, it opens up each person’s thinking and encourages creativity. In scrum or agile retrospectives, the PMI is a very useful tool for getting groups who are stuck to list down different perspectives and to then consider the whole picture.

How to Use the PMI Template to Run Better Meetings

Brainstorm

Start brainstorming through each of the different hats.

Vote

Have people voted on the topics that they would like to discuss the most.

Share

Share the results and facilitate the discussion towards a decision.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Empathy Map

About the Empathy Map template

What is an Empathy Map?

This design thinking tool helps the team explore the persona, pains and gains of a particular customer in order to improve service or product value to them. By capturing perspectives and building empathy, this helps with key judgement calls as to how a product benefits the customer.

By giving the the team an easy and digestible way to give the team a window into the mind of the customer and to build empathy with their experience, desires and needs. This way, the solution is designed with the customer in mind.

What are the Benefits of Using an Empathy Map?

Overall empathy mapping gives your team a greater understanding through a collaborative process to build a “picture of the user” through gathering data, ideas and information that can lead to better product design and interaction. It can summarize qualitative and quantitative research and acts as a single source of truth when developing strategies that are designed to bring value to them.

  • Puts the team in the shoes and mindset of the customer. 
  • Helps team understand the user experience (UX) in order to see how they interact with you.
  • Helps build a narrative based on what the customers experiences and feels. 
  • A simple visual framework that highlights customer needs.
  • A great communication piece for everyone for validation and sharing ideas.
Related templates

Tips for using an Empathy Map

  • Always have 1 empathy map per customer.
  • You can always rotate groups between each customer, allowing them to add, or thumbs up ideas that are already there.
  • Use comments to capture questions about a statement.
  • Using an opening statement that you have heard about from a customer can help with kick-starting the brainstorming process.
  • Use a blend of actual data and perception statements to get a holistic view.
  • Story telling to explain the environment and context of the end user can help set the mood and improve data collection.

Who Should do Empathy Mapping?

  • UX professionals and teams
  • Marketing teams
  • Product design teams
  • Development teams

How to Use your Empathy Map Canvas

When creating an empathy map, you should do one per person or customer type. If you are selling fresh produce, then the chef in in a fine dining restaurant with multiple service lines would be different to a produce manager of a chain. The empathy map should be labelled with a very clear definition of who the customer is. Sometimes even name and designations can help.

Kick- start the process with a statement that you hear from the customer and add this to your empathy map. This statement may have been from a user interview, email, social media or even direct feedback.

Then as a team work through the facilitated process, highlighting and indicating which responses resonate the most to help build an overall visualisation of the customer.

How to Use the Empathy Map to Run Better Meetings

Brainstorm

Start brainstorming through each of the different hats.

Group

Review the responses for common themes that can be grouped.

Vote

Have people voted on the topics that they would like to discuss the most.

Share

Share the results and facilitate the discussion towards a decision.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Team Canvas

Team Canvas GroupMap

What is a Team Canvas?

The Team Canvas was firstly developed by  Alex Ivanov and is designed to work through with your team. By working through the elements outlined, you’ll collectively map the purpose, objectives, metrics, values, behavioral standards, influence, inclusion, rituals, and symbols that help teams function.

You can use the Team Canvas for new teams or teams that may be struggling and could do with some improvement. 

The Team Canvas is also used to guide better choices, solve conflicts, lift, or add more meaning to the workday.

Elements for brainstorming in a Team Canvas can vary from a “basic” five elements of Purpose, Goals, Roles and Skills, Values and Roles Activities to a full version that that explores key aspects personal and team alignment, key  values and goals and as well as the expectations and capacity of the team.

Elements explored in the full version of the Team Canvas include:

  • Identifying People and their Roles in a team; 
  • Outlining the Purpose of “why are we doing this in the first place?” 
  • Looking at the Common Goals that as team you would like to achieve in a feasible, measurable and time-bounded way; 
  • Brainstorming what each team member’s Personal Goals are;
  • Sharing what are the Values of the team that they stand for and guide the way they work and operate;
  • Looking at the Strengths and Assets available now within the team to achieve the Goals set;
  • Understanding what Weaknesses and Risks are recognized individually and as a team;
  • Checking to see what Needs and Expectations are required for each team member to achieve the Common and Personal Goals;
  • Setting the Rules and Activities that the team together would like to introduce after completing the Team Canvas. 
Related templates
Facilitation tips

Why Do a Team Canvas?

The Team Canvas exercise is for every team member to participate actively with help from a facilitator. The canvas helps everyone map out their desired future state and goals. 

It makes it visible for everyone and transforms abstract team concepts into visible concrete ones.  

The outputs of the canvas are the guide rails that will help prevent team members falling off the edge when there are conflicts, decisions, or problems. It’s designed to help you foster team performance.

Who Should Use a Team Canvas?

The Team Canvas has been designed to assist leaders and teams in organizations in challenging the current state and imagine a better future state for how they work. Use the exercises to adopt new team norms, introduce practices and rituals for how they can work more effectively. 

Use the Team Canvas to help:

  • Your team navigate the ups and down and provide some early warning signals so the team can adjust;
  • Your team to understand and agree on purpose, goals, measures, and values;
  • Your team decides what behaviours and rituals to support your goals and values.

Team Canvas Template

The Team Canvas template is divided into eight “windows” or elements to brainstorm ideas on, with a centre focus on the Purpose of conducting the exercise. Designing a team is an iterative process, and together with your team, you can prototype behaviours and rituals that reflect your team values and objectives using the Team Canvas. Together you can examine if it’s working for you, collect feedback and fine tune as you go.

People & Roles

What are your names and the roles in the team? What are we called as a team?

Values

What do we stand for, what are our guiding principles, what are our common values that we want to have at the core of our team?

Personal goals

What are our individual personal goals? Are there personal agendas that we want to open up?

Strengths and assets

What are the skills in our team that will help us achieve our goals? What are we good at, individually and as a team?

Common Goals

What you as a group really want to achieve? What is your key goal is measurable, feasible and time bounded?

Rules & activities

What rules do we want to introduce after this session? How do we communicate and keep everyone updated? How do we make decisions? How do we execute and evaluate what we do?

Needs and expectations

What each one of us needs to be successful? What are our personal needs towards the team to be at our best?

Weaknesses and Risks

What are the weaknesses we have individually and as a team? What are some obstacles we see ahead of us?

How to Do a Team Canvas

Use the Team Canvas exercises to adopt new team norms, introduce practices and rituals for how together everyone can work more effectively. The Team Canvas can help all team members begin conversations, gain clarity and produce results.
Tip To get the most from the Team Canvas, gather input from a range participants with different perspectives. When you’re working with a large or distributed team, getting everyone together at the same time can be difficult, inconvenient, and costly. Using different technologies like video conferencing, online forms, and collaborative brainstorming software such as GroupMap can help overcome these challenges.

Brainstorm

Encourage the sharing of ideas and opinions for each of the nine elements included in the Team Canvas. Structure brainstorming by explaining each element and providing example questions.

Group

Identify common themes from the brainstorming session that can be grouped into a focus area. By doing this you can condense ideas into one key idea and be able to view them easier and better.

Rate

Invite participants to vote on the ideas that they see as the most important. Define the objectives of voting, such as “can be easily measured and is time-bounded,” or “can be done with the current resources available.”

Share

Collate and then share the results of your team exercise so that everyone can easily reference the agreed upon decisions, behaviours and rules going forward.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.

Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats

What is the Six Thinking Hats Technique by Edward De Bono?

The Six Thinking Hats is a role-playing model developed by Edward de Bono in 1986. Each hat represents a different lens or perspective on a particular issue and is an insightful activity that prevents narrow thinking. 

It serves as a team-based problem solving and brainstorming technique that can be used to explore problems through various perspectives in order to uncover options that might otherwise be overlooked. 

The basic premise behind the Six Thinking Hats is that most people think and reason in a specific way based on their personality type.  This means that a more emotional person may generate ideas differently than a more analytical person, and vice-versa. Similarly a pessimist will approach a situation very differently than an optimist.

An example of the benefit of running the thinking hats techniques is therefore to encourage different perspectives to be shared, seen and discussed as part of the decision making process.

The six types of “Thinking Hats” are:

  • White Hat: Similar to the calm and pure emotions associated with the colour white, this type of thinking focuses on analytical, objective thinking, with an emphasis on facts and feasibility.
  • Red Hat: We often associate the colour red with anger and heat and hence this represents emotional thinking, subjective feelings, perception, and opinion.
  • Black Hat: The colour black has been stereotypically linked with doom and gloom and so this forms a type of thinking that is critical, skeptical, focused on risks, and identifying problems.
  • Yellow Hat: Often symbolising sunshine and happiness, the yellow hat is about thinking optimistic, speculative, best-case scenarios.
  • Blue Hat: Blue being the colour of the sky and high above creates a sense of structured thinking, high-level overview of the situation, the big picture.
  • Green Hat: Associated with the colour of trees and nature, the green hat is about creative, associative thinking, new ideas, brainstorming, out-of-the-box.
Meeting tips using the 6 thinking hats technique

Use the Six Thinking Hats for Better Meetings

Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique for decision making that includes different points of view.

The process and methodology allows emotion and skepticism to be brought into what might normally be a purely rational process, and it opens up the opportunity for creativity within decision making.

Decisions made using the Six Thinking Hats technique can be more resilient and based on a holistic perspective, allowing you to avoid pitfalls and gaps before you have committed to a decision.

When Should I use the Six Thinking Hats Technique?

Use the Six Thinking Hats model to help with:

  • Running better and more structured meetings especially if there tends to only be a single view at every meeting.
  • Making better decisions by having a more holistic and wide ranging view of the problem. 
  • Approaching problems from various angles of facts, emotions and creativity.
  • Inspiring idea generation as an ice-breaker activity by having different people play different roles.
  • More collaboration during brainstorming and decision making with assigned roles including facilitator responsibilities.

Six Thinking Hats Template Example

Imagine if you are facilitating a meeting to introduce a new product or service to the market. In doing so, you might ask people to wear different hats, or to navigate between the hats around this goal.

White Hat

“What are the facts that we know?”

 – Our survey last month indicated a 5% preference of the green product by women aged 25 – 45.

– Return rates from sales has fallen by over 50% since the introduction of the new delivery packaging.

– There are new delivery routes available via Company Logistics.

Yellow Hat

“Why should we be optimistic?”

 – The new product could increase our revenue diversification stream and increase our family of products.

– We can start receiving better feedback and testimonials from our customers.

– The impact from damage from delivery will meet our service standards.

Red Hat

“What are your gut reactions?”

– The green colour inspires a sustainable look and is very appealing. This is even a great shade.

– The impact on the reduced return rates could mean additional resources.

– How do the new delivery routes impact our delivery times? I would certainly be interested in learning more about it.

Green Hat

 “How can we create opportunities?”

– A green range could be expanded to a different colour range set or be symbolic.

– Creating multiple channels will allow us to establish new partnerships and partners.

– Speeding up quality and reliability of delivery could allow us to bundle exisiting products.

Black Hat

“What risks should we keep in mind?”

– Is a 5% preference sufficient for us to make a single colour product? What happens if preferences change.

– What is the cost of maintaining the packaging quality and sustainability?

– The new delivery routes may not have been proven as reliable yet or may increase our costs.

Blue Hat

“What systems or processes will be needed?”

 – Let’s go around the room and discuss the colour options based.

– How has the reduced return rates impacted our warehousing department?

– Would there be any other changes to our workflow with a new delivery partner and will it change our logistics technology?

How to Use the Six Thinking Hats to Run Better Meetings

Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique for looking at decision-making from different points of view. By introducing a structured parallel thinking process, it helps people to be more focused and mindfully involved in a discussion.

Brainstorm

Start brainstorming through each of the different hats.

Group

Review the responses for common themes that can be grouped.

Vote

Have people voted on the topics that they would like to discuss the most.

Share

Share the results and facilitate the discussion towards a decision.

Cross Device Compatibility

Save effort, time and money with GroupMap

Whether you have your best minds together in the same room, or distributed around the world, GroupMap’s unique technology allows groups of up to 2000 to submit ideas independently at separate times, from different places, in different timezones. Prevent dominant personalities swaying the group, drowning out the opinions of others – GroupMap allows everyone to brainstorm independently then effortlessly combines that information to reveal the full spectrum of ideas. GroupMap templates keep the objective front and center throughout the session, keeping everyone on task. This ensures the activity identifies actionable issues rather than becoming just a discussion on ideas. GroupMap gives you all the group decision making tools you need to prioritize, decide and take action.

Create your first map and invite people in to start sharing their thoughts right NOW. Experience the power of GroupMap with our 14-day, no risk, FREE trial. You don’t even need to provide your credit card details to access to all of our features, including the entire suite of templates, for a full 14 days.