Team Practices Group/Health check survey/Guidance for facilitators

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Schedule the meeting[edit]

  1. Begin scheduling immediately after each quarter ends, so that teams can assess their quarterly goals just before participating in THC.
    1. Caveat: schedule the meeting as soon as possible after Quarterly Reviews.
  2. Ask the team lead for a list of attendees.
    1. Then list those attendees by email address
  3. Put together the full invitation list
    1. Whoever is embedded in that team should be required
    2. Every other TPG member should be optional
    3. At Manager title and below, managers are required if they are also contributors, but optional if they are strictly managers
  4. Ask an engineering admin to schedule the meeting, at a time that works for all represented timezones. Here is a sample of the email you could customize and then send to the admins (currently both Sarah R and Megan N):
Hi,


Please schedule the following one-time meeting:

Title: Team Health Check for (team name)

When: (give guidance as to preferred days and times)

Length: 90 minutes

Estimated SF attendees: (head count)

Required: (paste in required attendee's email addresses, including yourself)

Optional: (paste in optional attendee's email addresses)

Please use the template found here as the meeting description: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Team_Practices_Group/Health_check_survey/Health_Check_Survey_Invitation_Template

Please make the meeting modifiable by all attendees.

Thanks,

(your name)

Advance preparation[edit]

The goal of this section is to prepare two artifacts used in the meeting: The "Notes" (a word processing doc), and the "Survey" (a spreadsheet). Both are kept in google docs. You will also update the meeting invite and a higher level doc: "Health Check Overall Results" (to point to the artifacts).

  1. If this team has not done a Team Health Check before, go into google docs and create a new "google sheets" document type for the survey. The traditional naming convention is like: "(Community Liasons) Health Check Survey". Be sure to share it with the following, but uncheck the "Notify people via email" box:
    1. Can View: All the members of the team participating in the survey. Tip: you can go into the meeting invitation, choose "email guests", copy all the addresses, and paste them into the "share with others" field. (You should delete the TPG members that got pasted, since they will get edit access via the group, in the next step).
    2. Can Edit: The TPG google group. Sharing with the group, rather than individuals, ensures that future hires will automatically have access to it.
  2. From the latest sheet/tab of the master survey spreadsheet, click on the down arrow next to the sheet name, choose "Copy to...", and choose the destination team spreadsheet. This will create a new tab in the team spreadsheet, which might need to be renamed.
  3. Start with the Team Health Check notes template doc in google docs for this instance. Also share it, but uncheck the "Notify people via email" box:
    1. Can Edit: All the members of the team participating in the survey. Tip: you can go into the meeting invitation, choose "email guests", copy all the addresses, and paste them into the "share with others" field. (You might want to delete the TPG members that got pasted, since they will get access via the group, in the next step).
    2. Can Edit: The TPG google group. Sharing with the group, rather than individuals, ensures that future hires will automatically have access to it.
  4. In the calendar, edit the meeting description to add a link to the notes doc. To get this link, you must go into the Notes doc, choose "Share", and then "Advanced". Do NOT choose "Get Sharable Link", as that will open up the document to all of WMF. When you save the meeting invitation, don't send updates.
  5. Enter the links for this team's Notes doc and the Survey spreadsheet in the current quarter's "Overall Results" google doc (which should have been shared with you). For 2014-15 Q4, this document is: https://docs.google.com/a/wikimedia.org/document/d/162ZMqt6W4I9q0mIImsRb1VTZKhbsNEvtEuIH39tEfrw/edit?usp=sharing

Sample Template for an empty notes doc:

(Team Name) Team Health Check 2014-15 Q4

(Date of health check)

Health Check Survey: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Team_Practices_Group/Health_check_survey

Delivery

Communication

Quality

Value

Pace

Mission and Goals

Fun

Learning

Support

Destiny

Community Involvement

One or two days before the meeting[edit]

Send an email reminder to the participants ahead of time (a day or two before). The calendar feature "email guests" works great for this. Here is a sample, which you can customize as needed (and be sure to replace the placeholders!).

Hi (team name),


Your quarterly team health check is almost here. If you have a chance, please look over the survey before the meeting, so you know what to expect. This page lists the focus areas we will be discussing and rating, followed by influencers and indicators that might help guide the conversation:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Team_Practices_Group/Health_check_survey

We'll take live notes during the meeting here:
(link to notes document)

Thanks,

(your name)

Last-minute Preparation[edit]

On your laptop, open the following:

  • The team's health check spreadsheet
  • The notes doc
  • The current THC
  • Overall Results doc (so you can jot notes during the meeting about questions or problems regarding the survey itself)

During the Meeting[edit]

  1. Introduce yourself (if necessary). And if other TPGers are attending, introduce them as well.
  2. At the start, briefly cover the following topics:
    1. Consider reading the preamble (https://office.wikimedia.org/wiki/Health_check_survey_results), but most of it is summarized in the following points.
    2. This is a retrospective (chance to reflect and learn), covering the past quarter
    3. Focus here on raising issues (good or bad), not finding solutions
    4. Definition of "Team Health": Team health is a qualitative measure based on the team's assessment of 11 focus areas (‘Quality’ and ‘Fun’ are two of the areas, for example) that were chosen as health indicators for WMF teams.
    5. This is not a performance evaluation or way for managers to judge teams
    6. Team ratings in each focus area will be shared with WMF. In-meeting notes will only be available to this team and its managers (and TPG), although a few non-attributed quotes might be shared with WMF.
    7. For each focus area, team will aim to reach consensus on a rating, which can be compared to previous quarters to detect trends
    8. 5-point rating scale (awesome, awesome-mediocre, mediocre, mediocre-crappy, crappy)
    9. Quick pace: Need to cover 11 focus areas in about an hour
    10. Notes are very important. Everyone should help add and clarify notes as we go. Please put any comments directly in the notes doc, and not just in a chat window.
    11. We recognize that most groups are a mix of introverts and extroverts. So we would like everyone to participate at their individual comfort level. We also recognize that some personalities tend to be more vocal.
  3. Facilitate the discussion.
  4. Keep an eye on the time.
    1. After each focus area, check the clock. To complete 11 and also have time for introductions and retrospection, the team should spend an average of about five minutes per focus area.
      1. [PROPOSED TARGETS - update with reality check after Q1 THC]
        1. After 30 minutes, the team should have completed 3.
        2. After 60 minutes, the team should have completed 8.
      2. Do not cut off discussion prematurely. If a team is behind the pace, mention the timing to the team, interrupting only if necessary, and ask them to decide if they are getting value from going deep, or if they want to be moved forward to cover more different areas.
      3. If possible, note each focus area's discussion duration, to help us pace future discusssions. This (along with help with note-taking) is a great task for other TPG members who are observing the proceedings.
    2. If at all possible, save 5-10 minutes at the end for a quick retrospective about the experience, the survey, and the process overall.

Post-meeting[edit]

  1. If teams have suggestions for the health check process itself (areas for improvement or areas that are unclear to them), make a note in the "Overall Results" google doc.
  2. Do some self-reflection, and add any thoughts to the "Overall Results" doc, either specific to this team, or general (at the bottom).
  3. (Optional/Proposed): Follow up with the team lead to see if they have any concerns or feedback that they didn't want to share in front of the whole group.