Parking lot

Action, Debrief, Kick-off, Opening

Collaboration, Group-prioritization, Meeting facilitation

Active listening, Communication

Up to 15 min, Up to 30 min

6-15 persons, 16 – 30 persons, More than 30 persons

Beginner

Safe

Introduction

This is a classic business tool used to keep meetings and workshops focused on track. During discussions, questions will often emerge that are important but not fully relevant to the focus at the moment. These questions or issues are “parked” on a flipchart, to be addressed and answered later.

This practice helps ensure that important questions do not get lost and that the group can stay focused on the most relevant things.

Necessary tools (what you need)

  • Pick a videoconferencing tool of your choice.
  • Pick an online whiteboard toolthat allows using large, zoomable canvas.

Steps

  1. At the start of a meeting or workshop explain to the group that we are going to use a “parking lot” to help the work more effectively.
  2. Write a large “P” at the top of the online whiteboard. Explain that whenever a point is raised or questions are asked that do not directly relate to the subject or session, you will write it on a post-it note, and add it there. Invite group members also add to the parking lot at any time.
  3. Use it throughout the meeting/workshop.
  4. As the meeting/workshop comes to an end, ensure that there is time to address the points and questions on the parking lot, with the whole group. If there are any questions left unanswered make sure that you or a group member follows them up.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you are not using an online whiteboard, we’d recommend using a collaboration tool such as Google Docs as the parking lot.
  • You can even create a parking lot document or shared board for use outside of the workshop. Great for asynchronous teams who work in different time zones.

The exercise is successfully completed when? Conclusion?

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